CAMPS AND TRAILS IN
A NARRATIVE OF EXPLORATION,
ADVENTURE, AND SPORT IN LITTLE-KNOWN CHINA
ROY CHAPMAN ANDREWS,
IN THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
AND LEADER OF THE MUSEUM'S ASIATIC ZOÖLOGICAL EXPEDITION OF 1916-1917;
FELLOW NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES;
CORRESPONDING MEMBER ZOÖLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON,
MEMBER OF THE BIOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF WASHINGTON;
AUTHOR OF WHALE HUNTING WITH GUN AND CAMERA
YVETTE BORUP ANDREWS
PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE
ASIATIC ZOÖLOGICAL EXPEDITION
THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED
TO PRESIDENT HENRY FAIRFIELD OSBORN
AS AN EXPRESSION OF GRATITUDE AND ADMIRATION
probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us;
Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to
And the Wild is calling, calling . . . let us go.
The object of this
book is to present a popular narrative of the Asiatic Zoölogical
Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History to China
in 1916-17. Details of a purely scientific nature have been condensed,
or eliminated, and emphasis has been placed upon our experiences
with the strange natives and animals of a remote and little known
region in the hope that the book will be interesting to the general
The scientific reputation
of the Expedition will rest upon the technical reports of its
work which will be published in due course by the American Museum
of Natural History. To these reports we would refer those readers
who desire more complete information concerning the results of
our researches. At the time the manuscript of this volume was
sent to press the collections were still undergoing preparation
and the study of the different groups had just begun.
Although the book
has been largely written by the senior author, his collaborator
has contributed six chapters marked with her initials; all the
illustrations are from her photographs and continual use has been
made of her daily journals; she has, moreover, materially assisted
in reference work and in numerous other ways.
The information concerning
the relationships and distribution of the native tribes of Yün-nan
is largely drawn from the excellent reference work by Major H.R.
Davies and we have followed his spelling of Chinese names.
Parts of the book
have been published as separate articles in the American Museum
Journal, Harper's Magazine, and Asia and to the editors
of the above publications our acknowledgments are due.
That the Expedition
obtained a very large and representative
collection of small mammals is owing in a great measure to the
efforts of Mr. Edmund Heller, our
companion in the field. He worked tirelessly in the care and preservation
of the specimens, and the fact that they reached New York in excellent
condition is, in itself, the best testimony to the skill and thoroughness
with which they were prepared.
Our Chinese interpreter,
Wu Hung-tao, contributed largely to the success of the Expedition.
His faithful and enthusiastic devotion to our interests and his
tact and resourcefulness under trying circumstances won our lasting
gratitude and affectionate regard.
The nineteen months
during which we were in Asia are among the most memorable of our
lives and we wish to express our deepest gratitude to the Trustees
of the American Museum of Natural History, and especially to President
Henry Fairfield Osborn, whose enthusiastic endorsement and loyal
support made the Expedition possible. Director F. A. Lucas, Dr.
J. A. Allen and Mr. George H. Sherwood were unfailing in furthering
our interests, and to them we extend our hearty thanks.
To the following patrons,
who by their generous contributions materially assisted in the
financing of the Expedition, we wish to acknowledge our great
personal indebtedness as well as that of the Museum; Mr. and Mrs.
Charles L. Bernheimer, Mr. and Mrs. Sidney M. Colgate, Messrs.
George Bowdoin, Lincoln Ellsworth, James B. Ford, Henry C. Frick,
Childs Frick, and Mrs. Adrian Hoffman Joline.
The Expedition received
many courtesies while in the field from the following gentlemen,
without whose cooperation it would have been impossible to have
carried on the work successfully. Their services have been referred
to individually in subsequent parts of the book: The Director
of the Bureau of Foreign Affairs of the Province of Yün-nan; M.
Georges Chemin Dupontès, Director de l'Exploration de la Compagnie
Française des Chemins de Fer de l'Indochine et du Yün-nan, Hanoi,
Tonking; M. Henry Wilden, Consul de France, Shanghai;
M. Kraemer, Consul de France, Hong Kong; Mr. Howard Page, Standard
Oil Co., Yün-nan Fu; the Hon. Paul Reinsch, Minister Plenipotentiary
and Envoy Extraordinary to the Chinese Republic, Mr. J. V. A.
McMurray, First Secretary of the American Legation, Peking; Mr.
HAG. Evans, British-American Tobacco Co., Hong Kong; the Rev.
William Hanna, Ta-li Fu; the Rev. A. Kok, Li-chang Fu; Ralph Grierson,
Esq., Teng-yueh; Herbert Goffe, Esq., H. B. M. Consul General,
Yün-nan Fu; Messrs. C. R. Kellogg, and H. W. Livingstone, Foochow,
China; the General Passenger Agent, Canadian Pacific Railroad
Company, Hong Kong; and the Rev. H.R. Caldwell, Yenping, who has
read parts of this book in manuscript and who through his criticisms
has afforded us the benefit of his long experience in China.
To Miss Agnes F. Molloy
and Miss Anna Katherine Berger we wish to express our appreciation
of editorial and other assistance during the preparation of the
YVETTE BORUP ANDREWS
Bronxville, N. Y.
May 10, 1917.
Object of the Expedition
of the scientific exploration of Central AsiaThe region
which the Asiatic Zoölogical Expedition investigatedPersonnel
of the ExpeditionEquipmentApplicants for positions
upon the Expedition
Shi-kaiPlot to become emperor of ChinaThe RebellionOur
arrival in PekingPassports for Fukien ProvinceAdmiral
von Hintze, the German MinisterEn route to ShanghaiDeath
of Yuan Shi-kai
the Min River
at FoochowFoochowWe leave for Yen-pingThe Min
RiverOur first night in a sampanMiss Mabel
HartfordBrigands at YuchiYen-pingTrapping at
Bat Cave in the Big Ravine
The Temple in the
Big RavineHunting serowA bat apartment house
A message from Mr.
CaldwellRefugees from Yen-pingSituation in the cityFighting
on Monday morningWounded men at the hospitalWe do
Red Cross workMore fightingA Chinese puzzleThe
missionaries save the cityThe narrow escape of a young ChineseThe
mission cookReturn to Foochow
the Great Invisible
Caldwell's method of huntingHis first tigerHabits
of tigersExperiences with the Great InvisibleKilling
a man eaterChinese superstitionsHunting in the lair
Arriving at Lung-taoThe
blue tigerMr. Caldwell's first view of the beastThe
lair in the Long RavineBad luck with the tigerA meeting
in the darkLing-suik monasteryLife at the templeFukien
Province as a collecting ground
Women of China
Schools for girlsPosition
of womenThe Confucian rulesWoman's life in the homeFoot
bindingEarly marriageA Chinese wedding
Outfitting in Hong
KongFoodGunsCamerasEn route to
TonkingThe Island of HainanWe engage a cook at Paik-hoiArrival
in HaiphongLoss of our AmmunitionHanoiThe railroad
to Yün-nan FuYün-nanThe Chinese Foreign Office endorses
the Road to Ta-li fu
Yün-nan pack saddleTemple campsChinese mafusRoadsCountryIgnorance
of a Chinese scholarNew mammalsVillage lifeOpium
growingAn opium scandalGoitreThe Chinese "Mountain
guard of soldiers
temperatureLakeGravesPagodasMr. H. G.
EvansForeigners of Ta-li FuChinese mandarinsMammals
at Ta-liCaravan horses and mulesThe cook becomes ill
and the "Temple of the Flowers"
Traveling to Li-ChiangOur
entrance into the cityThe surprise of the foreignersThe
templeExcellent collectingSmall mammalsThe Moso
nativesCustomsThe Snow MountainBaron Haendel-Mazzetti
CAMPS AND TRAILS IN
THE OBJECT OF THE
The earliest remains
of primitive man probably will be found somewhere in the vast
plateau of Central Asia, north of the Himalayan Mountains. From
this region came the successive invasions that poured into Europe
from the east, to India from the north, and to China from the
west; the migration route to North America led over the Bering
Strait and spread fanwise south and southeast to the farthest
extremity of South America. The Central Asian plateau at the beginning
of the Pleistocene was probably less arid than it is today and
there is reason to believe that this general region was not only
the distributing center of man but also of many of the forms of
mammalian life which are now living in other parts of the world.
For instance, our American moose, the wapiti or elk, Rocky Mountain
sheep, the so-called mountain goat, and other animals are probably
of Central Asian origin.
Doubtless there were
many contributing causes to the extensive wanderings of primitive
tribes, but as they were primarily hunters, one of the most important
must have been the movements of the game
upon which they lived. Therefore the study of the early human
races is, necessarily, closely connected with, and dependent upon,
a knowledge of the Central Asian mammalian life and its distribution.
No systematic palaeontological, archaeological, or zoölogical
study of this region on a large scale has ever been attempted,
and there is no similar area of the inhabited surface of the earth
about which so little is known.
The American Museum
of Natural History hopes in the near future to conduct extensive
explorations in this part of the world along general scientific
lines. The country itself and its inhabitants, however, present
unusual obstacles to scientific research. Not only is the region
one of vast intersecting mountain ranges, the greatest of the
earth, but the climate is too cold in winter to permit of continuous
work. The people have a natural dislike for foreigners, and the
political events of the last half century have not tended to decrease
It is possible to
overcome such difficulties, but the plans for extensive research
must be carefully prepared. One of the most important steps is
the sending out of preliminary expeditions to gain a general knowledge
of the natives and fauna and of the conditions to be encountered.
For the first reconnaissance, which was intended to be largely
a mammalian survey, the Asiatic Zoölogical Expedition left New
York in March, 1916.
Its destination was
Yün-nan, a province in southwestern China. This is one of the
least known parts of the Chinese Republic and, because of its
southern latitude and high mountain systems, the climate and faunal
range is very great. It is about equal in size to
the state of California and topographically might be likened to
the ocean in a furious gale, for the greater part of its surface
has been thrown into vast mountain waves which divide and cross
one another in hopeless confusion.
Yün-nan is bordered
on the north by Tibet and S'suchuan, on the west by Burma, on
the south by Tonking, and on the east by Kwei-chau Province. Faunistically
the entire northwestern part of Yün-nan is essentially Tibetan,
and the plateaus and mountain peaks range from altitudes of 8,000
feet to 20,000 feet above sea level. In the south and west along
the borders of Burma and Tonking, in the low fever-stricken valleys,
the climate is that of the mid-tropics, and the native life, as
well as the fauna and flora, is of a totally different type from
that found in the north.
The natives of Yün-nan
are exceptionally interesting. There are about thirty non-Chinese
tribes in the province, some of whom, such as the Shans and Lolos,
represent the aboriginal inhabitants of China, and it is safe
to say that in no similar area of the world is there such a variety
of language and dialects as in this region.
Although the main
work of the Expedition was to be conducted in Yün-nan, we decided
to spend a short time in Fukien Province, China, and endeavor
to obtain a specimen of the so-called "blue tiger" which has been
seen twice by the Reverend Harry R. Caldwell, a missionary and
amateur naturalist, who has done much hunting in the vicinity
The white members
of the first Asiatic Zoölogical Expedition included Mr. Edmund
Heller, my wife (Yvette Borup Andrews) and myself. A Chinese interpreter,
Wu Hung-tao, with five native assistants
and ten muleteers, completed the personnel.
Mr. Heller is a collector
of wide experience. His early work, which was done in the western
United States and the Galápagos Islands, was followed by many
years of collecting in Mexico, Alaska, South America, and Africa.
He first visited British East Africa with Mr. Carl E. Akeley,
next with ex-President Theodore Roosevelt, and again with Mr.
Paul J. Rainey. During the Asiatic Zoölogical Expedition Mr. Heller
devoted most of his time to the gathering and preparation of small
mammals. He joined our party late in July in China.
Mrs. Andrews was the
photographer of the Expedition. She had studied photography as
an amateur in Germany, France, and Italy, as well as in New York,
and had devoted especial attention to the taking of photographs
in natural colors. Such work requires infinite care and patience,
but the results are well worth the efforts expended.
Wu Hung-tao is a native
of Foochow, China, and studied English at the Anglo-Chinese College
in that city. He lived for some time in Teng-yueh, Yün-nan, in
the employ of Mr. F. W. Carey, Commissioner of Customs, and not
only speaks mandarin Chinese but also several native dialects.
He acted as interpreter, head "boy," and general field manager.
My own work was devoted mainly to the direction of the Expedition
and the hunting of big game.
In order to reduce
the heavy transportation charges we purchased only such equipment
in New York as could not be obtained in Shanghai or Hong Kong.
Messrs. Shoverling, Daly & Gales furnished our guns,
ammunition, tents, and general camp equipment, and gave excellent
satisfaction in attention to the minor details which often assume
alarming importance when an expedition is in the field and defects
cannot be remedied. All food and commissary supplies were purchased
in Hong Kong. (See Chapter IX).
When the announcement
of the Expedition was made by the American Museum of Natural History
it received wide publicity in America and other parts of the world.
Immediately we began to discover how many strange persons make
up the great cities of the United States, and we received letters
and telegrams from hundreds of people who wished to take part
in the Expedition. Men and boys were the principal applicants,
but there was no lack of women, many of whom came to the Museum
for personal interviews.
Most of the letters
were laughable in the extreme. One was from a butcher who thought
he might be of great assistance in preparing our specimens, or
defending us from savage natives; another young man offered himself
to my wife as a personal bodyguard; a third was sure his twenty
years' experience as a waiter would fit him for an important position
on the Expedition, and numerous women, young and old, wished to
become "companions" for my wife in those "drear wastes."
to besiege us wherever we stopped on our way across the continent
and in San Francisco until we embarked on the afternoon of March
28 on the S. S. Tenyo Maru for Japan.
Our way across the
Pacific was uneventful and as the great vessel drew in toward
the wharf in Yokohama she was boarded by the usual crowd of natives.
We were standing at the rail when three Japanese
approached and, bowing in unison, said, "We are report for leading
Japanese newspaper. We wish to know all thing about Chinese animal."
Evidently the speech had been rehearsed, for with it their English
ended abruptly, and the interview proceeded rather lamely, on
my part, in Japanese.
Japan was reveling
in the cherry blossom season when we arrived and for a person
interested in color photography it was a veritable paradise. We
stayed three weeks and regretfully left for Peking by way of Korea.
But before we continue with the story of our further travels,
we would like briefly to review the political situation in China
as a background for our early work in the province of Fukien.
CHINA IN TURMOIL
During the time the
Expedition was preparing to leave New York, China was in turmoil.
Yuan Shi-kai was president of the Republic, but the hope of his
heart was to be emperor of China. For twenty years he had plotted
for the throne; he had been emperor for one hundred miserable
days; and now he was watching, impotently, his dream-castles crumble
beneath his feet. Yuan was the strong man of his day, with more
power, brains, and personality than any Chinese since Li-Hung
Chang. He always had been a factor in his political world. His
monarchical dream first took definite form as early as 1901 when
he became viceroy of Chi-li, the province in which Peking is situated.
It was then that he
began to modernize and get control of the army which is the great
basis of political power in China. Properly speaking, there was
not, and is not now, a Chinese national army. It is rather a collection
of armies, each giving loyalty to a certain general, and he who
secures the support of the various commanders controls the destiny
of China's four hundred millions of people regardless of his official
Yuan was able to bind
to himself the majority of the leading generals, and in 1911,
when the Manchu dynasty was overthrown, his plots and intrigues
began to bear fruit. By crafty juggling of the rebels and Manchus
he managed to get himself elected president
of the new republic, although he did not for a moment believe
in the republican form of government. He was always a monarchist
at heart but was perfectly willing to declare himself an ardent
republican so long as such a declaration could be used as a stepping
stone to the throne which he kept ever as his ultimate goal.
As president he ruled
with a high hand. In 1913 there was a rebellion in protest against
his official acts but he defeated the rebels, won over more of
the older generals, and solidified the army for his own interests,
making himself stronger than ever before.
At this time he might
well have made a coup d'état and proclaimed himself emperor
with hardly a shadow of resistance, but with the hereditary caution
of the Chinese he preferred to wait and plot and scheme. He wanted
his position to be even more secure and to have it appear that
he reluctantly accepted the throne as a patriotic duty at the
insistent call of the people.
Yuan's ways for producing
the proper public sentiment were typically Chinese but entirely
effective, and he was making splendid progress, when in May, 1915,
Japan put a spoke in his wheel of fortune by taking advantage
of the European war and presenting the historical twenty-one demands,
to most of which China agreed.
This delayed his plans
only temporarily, and Yuan's agents pushed the work of making
him emperor more actively than ever, with the result that the
throne was tendered to him by the "unanimous vote of the people."
To "save his face" he declined at first but at the second offer
he "reluctantly" yielded and on December 12, 1915, became emperor
But his triumph was
short-lived, for eight days later tidings
of unrest in Yün-nan reached Peking. General Tsai-ao, a former
military governor of the province, appeared in Yün-nan Fu, the
capital, and, on December 23, sent an ultimatum to Yuan stating
that he must repudiate the monarchy and execute all those who
had assisted him to gain the throne, otherwise Yün-nan would secede;
which it forthwith did on December 25.
Without doubt this
rebellion was financed by the Japanese who had intimated to Yuan
that the change from a republican form of government would not
meet with their approval. The rebellion spread rapidly. On January
21, Kwei-chau Province, which adjoins Yün-nan, seceded, and, on
March 13, Kwang-si also announced its independence.
About this time the
Museum authorities were becoming somewhat doubtful as to the advisability
of proceeding with our Expedition. We had a long talk with Dr.
Wellington Koo, the Chinese Minister to the United States, at
the Biltmore Hotel in New York. Dr. Koo, while certain that the
rebellion would be short-lived, strongly advised us to postpone
our expedition until conditions became more settled. He offered
to cable Peking for advice, but we, knowing how unwelcome to the
government of the harassed Yuan would be a party of foreigners
who wished to travel in the disturbed area, gratefully declined
and determined to proceed regardless of conditions. We hoped that
Yuan would be strong enough to crush this rebellion as he had
that of 1913, but day by day, as we anxiously watched the papers,
there came reports of other provinces dropping away from his standard.
On the Tenyo Maru
we met the Honorable Charles Denby, an ex-American Consul-General
at Shanghai and former adviser to Yuan Shi-kai
when he was viceroy of Chi-li. Mr. Denby was interested in obtaining
a road concession near Peking and was then on his way to see Yuan.
His anxiety over the political situation was not less than ours
and together we often paced the decks discussing what might happen;
but every wireless report told of more desertions to the ranks
of the rebels.
It seemed to be the
beginning of the end, for Yuan had lost his nerve. He had decided
to quit, and one hundred days after he became emperor elect he
issued a mandate canceling the monarchy and restoring the republic.
But the rebellious provinces were not satisfied and demanded that
he get out altogether.
About this time we
reached Peking, literally blown in by a tremendous dust storm
which seemed an elemental manifestation of the human turmoil within
the grim old walls. Our cousin, Commander Thomas Hutchins, Naval
Attaché of the American Legation, was awaiting us on the platform,
holding his hat with one hand and wiping the dust from his eyes
with the other.
The news we received
from him was by no means comforting for in the Legation pessimism
reigned supreme. The American Minister, Dr. Reinsch, was not enthusiastic
about our going south regardless of conditions, but nevertheless
he set about helping us to obtain the necessary visas for our
We wished first to
go to Foochow, in Fukien Province, where we were to hunt tiger
until Mr. Heller joined us in July for the expedition into Yün-nan.
Fukien was still loyal to Yuan, but the strong Japanese influence
in this province, which is directly opposite the
island of Formosa, was causing considerable uneasiness in Peking.
We were armed with
telegrams from Mr. C. R. Kellogg, of the Anglo-Chinese College,
with whom we were to stay while in Foochow, assuring us that all
was quiet in the province, and through the influence of Dr. Reinsch,
the Chinese Foreign Office visaed our passports. The huge red
stamp which was affixed to them was an amusing example of Chinese
"face saving." First came the seal of Yuan's impotent dynasty
of Hung Hsien, signifying "Brilliant Prosperity," and directly
upon it was placed the stamp of the Chinese Republic. One was
almost as legible as the other and thus the Foreign Office saved
its face in whichever direction the shifting cards of political
destiny should fall.
At a luncheon given
by Dr. Reinsch at the Embassy in Peking, we met Admiral von Hintze,
the German Minister, who had recently completed an adventurous
trip from Germany to China. He was Minister to Mexico at the beginning
of the war but had returned to Berlin incognito through England
to ask the Kaiser for active sea service. The Emperor was greatly
elated over von Hintze's performance and offered him the appointment
of Minister to China if he could reach Peking in the same way
that he had traveled to Berlin. Von Hintze therefore shipped as
supercargo on a Scandinavian tramp steamer and arrived safely
at Shanghai, where he assumed all the pomp of a foreign diplomat
and proceeded to the capital.
The Americans were
in a rather difficult position at this time because of the international
complications, and social intercourse was extremely limited. Dinner
guests had to be chosen with the greatest care and one
was very likely to meet exactly the same people wherever one went.
Peking is a place
never to be forgotten by one who has shared its social life. In
the midst of one of the most picturesque, most historical, and
most romantic cities of the world there is a cosmopolitan community
that enjoys itself to the utmost. Its talk is all of horses, polo,
racing, shooting, dinners, and dances, with the interesting background
of Chinese politics, in which things are never dull. There is
always a rebellion of some kind to furnish delightful thrills,
and one never can tell when a new political bomb will be projected
from the mysterious gates of the Forbidden City.
We spent a week in
Peking and regretfully left by rail for Shanghai. En route
we passed through Tsinan-fu where the previous night serious fighting
had occurred in which Japanese soldiers had joined with the rebels
against Yuan's troops. On every side there was evidence of Japan's
efforts against him. In the foreign quarter of Shanghai just behind
the residence of Mr. Sammons, the American Consul-General, one
of Yuan's leading officers had been openly murdered, and Japanese
were directly concerned in the plot. We were told that it was
very difficult at that time to lease houses in the foreign concession
because wealthy Chinese who feared the wrath of one party or the
other were eager to pay almost any rent to obtain the protection
of that quarter of the city.
A short time later
it became known to a few that Yuan was seriously ill. He was suffering
from Bright's disease with its consequent weakness, loss of mental
alertness, and lack of concentration. French doctors were called
in, but Yuan's wives insisted upon treating
him with concoctions of their own, and on June 6, shortly after
three o'clock in the morning, he died.
Even on his death-bed
Yuan endeavored to save his face before the country, and his last
words were a reiteration of what he knew no one believed. The
story of his death is told in the China Press of June 7,
According to news
from the President's palace the condition of Yuan became critical
at three o'clock in the morning. Yuan asked for his old confidential
friend, Hsu Shih-chang, who came immediately. On the arrival
of Hsu, Yuan was extremely weak, but entirely conscious.
With tears in his
eyes, Yuan assured his old friend that he had never had any
personal ambition for an emperor's crown; he had been deceived
by his entourage over the true state of public opinion
and thus had sincerely believed the people wished for the restoration
of the monarchy. The desire of the South for his resignation
he had not wished to follow for fear that general anarchy would
break out all over China. Now that he felt death approaching
he asked Hsu to make his last words known to the public.
In the temporary
residence of President Li Yuan-hung, situated in the Yung-chan-hu-tung
(East City) and formerly owned by Yang Tu, the prominent monarchist,
the formal transfer of the power to Li-Yuan-hung took place
this morning at ten o'clock. Yuan Chi-jui, Secretary of State
and Premier, as well as all the members of the cabinet, Prince
Pu Lun as chairman of the State Council, and other high officials
The officials, wearing
ceremonial dress, were received by Li-Yuan-hung in the main
hall and made three bows to the new president, which were returned
by the latter. The same ceremony will take place at two o'clock,
when all the high military officials will assemble at the President's
The Cabinet, in
a circular telegram has informed all the
provinces that Vice-President Li-Yuan-hung, in accordance with
the constitution, has become president of the Chinese Republic
(Chung-hua-min-kuo) from the seventh instance.
So ended Yuan Shi-kai's
great plot to make himself an emperor over four hundred millions
of people, a plot which could only have been carried out in China.
He failed, and the once valiant warrior died in the humiliation
of defeat, leaving thirty-two wives, forty children and his country
in political chaos.
UP THE MIN RIVER
Y. B. A.
Three days after leaving
Shanghai we arrived at Pagoda Anchorage at the mouth of the Min
River, twelve miles from Foochow.
We boarded a launch
which threaded its way through a fleet of picturesque fishing
vessels, each one of which had a round black and white eye painted
on its crescent-shaped bow. When asked the reason for this decoration
a Chinese on the launch looked at us rather pityingly for a moment
and then said: "No have eye. No can see." How simple and how entirely
The instant the launch
touched the shore dozens of coolies swarmed like flies over it,
fighting madly for our luggage. One seized a trunk, the other
end of which had been appropriated by another man and, in the
argument which ensued, each endeavored to deafen the other by
his screams. The habit of yelling to enforce command is inherent
with the Chinese and appears to be ineradicable. To expostulate
in an ordinary tone of voice, pausing to listen to his opponent's
reply, seems a psychological impossibility.
There had been a mistake
about the date of our arrival at Foochow, and we were two days
earlier than we had been expected, so that Mr. C. R. Kellogg,
of the Anglo-Chinese College, with whom we were to
stay, was not on the jetty to meet us. We were at a loss to know
where to turn amidst the chaos and confusion until a customs officer
took us in charge and, judiciously selecting a competent looking
woman from among the screaming multitude, told her to get two
sedan chairs and coolies to carry our luggage. She disappeared
and ten minutes later the chairs arrived. Dashing about among
the crowd in front of us, she chose the baggage for such men as
met with her approval and after the usual amount of argument the
loads were taken.
We mounted our chairs
and started off with apparently all Foochow following us. As far
as we could see down the narrow street were the heads and shoulders
of our porters. We felt as if we were heading an invading army
as, with our thirty-three coolies and sixteen hundred pounds of
luggage, we descended upon the homes of people whom we did not
know and who were not expecting us. But our sudden arrival did
not disturb the Kelloggs and our welcome was typical of the warm
hospitality one always finds in the Far East.
No matter how long
one has lived in China one remains in a condition of mental suspense
unable to decide which is the filthiest city of the Republic.
The residents of Foochow boast that for offensiveness to the senses
no town can compare with theirs, and although Amoy and several
other places dispute this questionable title, we were inclined
to grant it unreservedly to Foochow. It is like a medieval city
with its narrow, ill-paved streets wandering aimlessly in a hopeless
maze. They are usually roofed over so that by no accident can
a ray of purifying sun penetrate their dark corners. With no ventilation
whatsoever the oppressive air reeks with
the odors that rise from the streets and the steaming houses.
In Foochow, as in
other cities of China, the narrow alleys are literally choked
with every form of industrial obstruction. Countless workmen plant
themselves in the tiny passageways with the pigs, children, and
dogs, and women bring their quilts to spread upon the stones.
There is a common saying that the Chinese do little which is not
at some time done on the street.
The foreign residents,
including consuls of all nationalities, missionaries, and merchants,
live well out of the city on a hilltop. Their houses are built
with very high ceilings and bare interiors, and as the occupants
seldom go into the city except in a sedan chair and have "punkahs"
waving day and night, life is made possible during the intense
heat of summer.
A telegram was awaiting
us from the Reverend Harry Caldwell, with whom we were to hunt,
asking us to come to his station two hundred miles up the river,
and we passed two sweltering days repacking our outfit while Mr.
Kellogg scoured the country for an English-speaking cook.
One middle-aged gentleman
presented himself, but when he learned that we were going "up
country," he shook his head with an assumption of great filial
devotion and said that he did not think his mother would let him
go. Another was afraid the sun might be too hot. Finally on the
eve of our departure we engaged a stuttering Chinese who assured
us that he was a remarkable cook and exceptionally honest.
If you have never
heard a Chinaman stutter you have something to live for, and although
we discovered that our cook was a shameless rascal he was worth
all he extracted in "squeeze," for whenever
he attempted to utter a word we became almost hysterical. He sounded
exactly like a worn-out phonograph record buzzing on a single
note, and when he finally did manage to articulate, his "pidgin"
English in itself was screamingly funny.
One day he came to
the sampan proudly displaying a piece of beef and, after
a series of vocal gymnastics, eventually succeeded in shouting:
"Missie, this meat no belong die-cow. Die-cow not so handsome."
Which meant that this particular piece of beef was not from an
animal which had died from disease.
The first stage of
our trip began before daylight. We rode in four-man sedan chairs,
followed by a long procession of heavily laden coolies with our
cameras, duffle-sacks, and pack baskets. The road lay through
green rice fields between terraced mountains, and we jogged along
first on the crest of a hill, then in the valley, passing dilapidated
temples with the paint flaking off and picturesque little huts
half hidden in the reeds of the winding river. It was a relief
to get into the country again after passing down the narrow village
streets and to breathe fresh air perfumed with honeysuckle.
A passenger launch
makes the trip to Cui-kau at the beginning of the rapids, but
it leaves at two o'clock in the morning and is literally crowded
to overflowing with evil-smelling Chinese who sprawl over every
available inch of deck space, so that even the missionaries strongly
advised us against taking it. The passengers not infrequently
are pushed off into the water. One of the missionaries witnessed
an incident which illustrates in a typical
way the total lack of sympathy of the average Chinese.
A coolie on the Cui-kau
launch accidentally fell overboard, and although a friend was
able to grasp his hand and hold him above the surface, no one
offered to help him; the launch continued at full speed, and finally
weakening, the poor man loosed his hold and sank. This is by no
means an isolated case. Some years ago a foreign steamer was burned
on the Yangtze River, and the crowds of watching Chinese did little
or nothing to rescue the passengers and crew. Indeed, as fast
as they made their way to shore many of them were robbed even
of their clothing and some were murdered outright.
Our first day on the
Min River was the most luxurious of the entire Expedition, for
we were fortunate in obtaining the Standard Oil Company's launch
through the kindness of Mr. Livingston, their agent. It was large
and roomy, and the trip, which would have been worse than disagreeable
on the public boat, was most delightful. The Min is one of the
most beautiful rivers of all China with its velvet green mountains
rising a thousand feet or more straight up from the water and
often terraced to the summits.
Perched on the bow
of our boat was a wizened little gentleman with a pigtail wrapped
around his head, who said he was a pilot, but as he inquired the
channel of everyone who passed and ran us aground a dozen times
or more to the tremendous agitation of our captain, we felt that
his claim was not entirely justified.
The river life was
a fascinating, ever-changing picture. One moment we would pass
a sampan so loaded with branches that it seemed like a
small island floating down the stream. Next
a huge junk with bamboo-ribbed sails projecting at impossible
angles drifted by, followed by innumerable smaller crafts, the
monotonous chant of the boatmen coming faintly over the water
to us as they passed.
When evening came
we had reached Cui-kau. The sampans in which we were to
spend eight days were drawn up on the beach with twenty or thirty
others. Right above us was the straggling town looking very much
like the rear view of tenement houses at home. Darkness blotted
out the filth of our surroundings but could do nothing to lessen
the odors that poured down from the village, and we ate our dinner
with little relish.
Our beds were spread
in the sampans which we shared in common with the four
river men who formed the crew. There was only a mosquito net to
screen the end of the boat, but all our surroundings were so strange
that this was but a minor detail. As we lay in our cots we could
look up at the stars framed in the half oval of the sampan's
roof and listen to the sounds of the water life grow fainter and
fainter as one by one the river men beached their boats for the
night. It seemed only a few minutes later when we were roused
by a rush of water, but it was daylight, and the boats had reached
the first of the rapids which separated us from Yen-ping, one
hundred and twenty miles away.
In the late afternoon
we arrived at Chang-hu-fan where Mr. Caldwell stood on the shore
waving his hat to us amidst scores of dirty little children and
the explosion of countless firecrackers. Wherever we went crackers
preceded and followed usfor when a Chinese wishes to register
extreme emotion, either of joy or sorrow,
its expression always takes the form of firecrackers.
There had been a good
deal of persecution of the native Christians in the district,
and only recently a band of soldiers had strung up the native
pastor by the thumbs and beaten him senseless. He was our host
that night and seemed to be a bright, vivacious, little man but
quite deaf as a result of his cruel treatment. He never recovered
and died a few weeks later. Mr. Caldwell had come to investigate
the affair, for the missionaries are invested by the people themselves
with a good deal of authority.
We spent that night
in the parish house just behind the little church, a bare schoolroom
being turned over to us for our use, and it seemed very luxurious
after we had set up our cots, tables, chairs, and bath tub; but
the house was in the center of the town and the high walls shut
out every breath of pure air. The barred windows opened on a street
hardly six feet wide, and while we were preparing for bed there
was a buzz of subdued whispers outside. We switched on a powerful
electric flashlight and there stood at least forty men, women
and children gazing at us with rapt attention, but they melted
away before the blinding glare like snow in a June sun.
That night was not
a pleasant one. The heat was intense, the mosquitoes worse, and
every dog and cat in the village seemed to choose our court yard
as a dueling ground in which to settle old scores. The climax
was reached at four o'clock in the morning, when directly under
our windows there came a series of earsplitting squeals followed
by a horrible gurgle. The neighbors had chosen that particular
spot and hour to kill the family pig, and
the entire process which followed of sousing it in hot water and
scraping off the hair was accompanied by unceasing chatter. Boiling
with rage we dressed and went for a walk, vowing not to spend
another night in the place but to sleep in the sampans.
On the whole our river
men were nice fellows but they had the love of companionship characteristic
of all Chinese and the inherent desire to huddle together as closely
as possible wherever they were. On the way up the river to Yuchi
every evening they insisted on stopping at some foul-smelling
village, and it was difficult to induce them to spend the night
away from a town. Moreover, at our stops for luncheon they would
invariably ignore a shady spot and choose a sand bank where the
sun beat down like a blast furnace.
The Chinese never
appear to be affected by the sun and go bareheaded at all seasons
of the year, shading their eyes with one hand or a partly opened
fan. A fan is the prime requisite, and it is not uncommon to see
coolies almost devoid of clothing, dragging a heavy load and with
the perspiration streaming from their naked bodies, energetically
fanning themselves meanwhile.
Mr. Caldwell was en
route to Yuchi, one of his mission stations far up a branch
of the Min River, and as there was a vague report of tiger in
that vicinity we joined him instead of proceeding directly to
Yen-ping. The tiger story was found to be merely a myth, but our
trip was made interesting by meeting Miss Mabel Hartford, the
only foreign resident of the place. She has lived in Yuchi for
two years and at one time did not see a white person for eight
months with the exception of Mr. Caldwell
who was in the vicinity for three days. It requires four weeks
to obtain supplies from Foochow, there is no telegraph, and mails
are very irregular, but she enjoys the isolation and is passionately
fond of her work.
She has had an interesting
life and one not devoid of danger. In 1895 she was wounded and
barely escaped death in the Hwa Shan (Flower Mountain) massacre
in which ten women and one man were brutally murdered by a mob
of fanatic natives known as "Vegetarians." The Chinese Government
was required to pay a considerable indemnity to Miss Hartford,
which she accepted only under protest and characteristically devoted
to missionary work in Kucheng where the massacre occurred.
Conditions at Yuchi
when we arrived were most unsettled and for some months there
had been a veritable "reign of terror." A large band of brigands
was established in the hills not far from the city, and we were
warned by the mandarin not to attempt to go farther up the river.
A few months earlier several companies of soldiers had been sent
from Foochow, and the result of turning loose these ruffians upon
the town was to make "the remedy worse than the disease."
The soldiers were
continually arresting innocent peasants, accusing them of being
brigands or aiding the bandits, and shooting them without a hearing.
At one time accurate information concerning the camp of the robbers
was received and the soldiers set bravely off, but when within
a short distance of the brigands the commanders began to quarrel
among themselves, guns were fired, and the bandits escaped. A
Chinaman must always "save his face," however, and when they returned
to Yuchi they arrested dozens of people
on mere suspicion and executed them without the vestige of a trial.
Finally conditions became so intolerable that no one was safe,
and after repeated complaints by the missionaries, a new mandarin
of a somewhat better type was sent to Yuchi.
As it was impossible
to do any collecting farther up the river because of the bandits,
we left for Yen-ping two days after arriving at Yuchi. Yen-ping
is a wonderfully picturesque old city, situated on a hill at a
fork of the river and surrounded by high stone walls pierced and
loopholed for rifle fire. Such walls, while of little use against
artillery, nevertheless offer a formidable obstacle to anything
less than field guns as we ourselves were destined to discover.
The Methodist mission
compound encloses a considerable area on the very summit of the
hill, backed by the city wall, and besides the four dwelling houses,
comprises two large schools for boys and girls. Mr. Caldwell's
residence commands a wonderful view down the river and in the
late afternoon sunlight when the hills are bathed in pink and
lavender and purple a more beautiful spot can hardly be imagined.
But the delights of
Yen-ping are somewhat tempered by the abominable weather. In summer
the heat is almost unbearable and the air is so nearly saturated
from continual rain that it is impossible to dry anything except
over a fire. From all reports winter must be almost as bad in
the opposite extreme for the cold is damp and penetrating; but
the early fall is said to be delightful.
The larger part of
Fukien, like many other provinces in China, has been denuded of
forests, and the groves of pine which remain
have all been planted. This deforestation consequently has driven
out the game, and except for tigers, leopards, wolves, wild pigs,
serows and gorals, none of the large species is left. However,
the dense growth of sword grass and the thorny bushes which clothe
the hills and choke the ravines give cover to muntjac, or barking
deer, and many species of small cats, civets, and other Viverines.
These animals come to the rice paddies, which fill every valley,
to hunt for frogs and fish, but it is difficult to catch them
because of the Chinese who are continually at work in the fields.
We spent a week trapping
about Yen-ping and although we caught a good many animals they
were almost always stolen together with the traps. We had this
same difficulty in Yün-nan as well as in Fukien. None of us had
ever seen natives in any part of the world who were such unmitigated
thieves as the Chinese of these two provinces. The small mammals
are hardly more abundant than the larger ones for the natives
wage an unceasing war on those about the rice paddies and have
exterminated nearly all but a few widely distributed forms.
A BAT CAVE IN THE
A few days after our
arrival in Yen-ping we went with Mr. Caldwell and his son Oliver
to a Taoist temple seven miles away in a lonely ravine known as
Chi-yuen-kang. The walk to the temple in the early morning was
delightful. The "bamboo chickens" and francolins were calling
all about us and on the way we shot enough for our first day's
dinner. Both these birds are abundant in Fukien Province but it
is by no means easy to kill them for they live in such thick cover
that they can only be flushed with difficulty.
Early in the morning
we frequently heard the francolins crowing in the trees or on
the top of a hill and when a cock had taken possession of such
a spot the intrusion of another was almost sure to cause trouble
which only ended when one of them had been driven off.
For two miles and
a half the Big Ravine is a narrow cut between perpendicular rock
walls thickly clothed to their very summits with bamboo and a
tangle of thorny vines. In the bottom of the gorge a mountain
torrent foams among huge boulders but becomes a gentle, slow moving
stream when it leaves the cool darkness of the canyon to spread
itself over the terraced rice fields.
About a mile from
the entrance two old temples nestle into the hillside. One stands
just over the water, but the other clings
to the rock wall three hundred feet above the river, and it was
there that we made our camp.
The old priest in
charge did not appear especially delighted to see us until I slipped
a Mexican dollar into his handthen it was laughable to see
his change of face. The far end of the balcony was given up to
us while Mr. Caldwell and Oliver put up their beds at the feet
of a grinning idol in the main temple.
We had come to Chi-yuen-kang
to hunt serow (see Chapter XVII) and had brought with us
only a few traps for small mammals. Harry had seen several serow
exhibited for sale on market days in towns along the river, and
all were reported to have been killed near this ravine. There
was a village of considerable size at the upper end and here we
collected a motley lot of beaters with half a dozen dogs to drive
the top of a mountain which towered about two thousand five hundred
feet above the river.
Never will we forget
that climb! We tried to start at daylight but it was well toward
six o'clock before we got our men together. A Chinaman would drive
an impatient man to apoplexy and an early grave for it is well-nigh
impossible to get him started within an hour of the appointed
time, and with a half dozen the difficulty is multiplied as many
times. Just when you think all is ready and that there can be
no possible reason for delaying longer, the whole crowd will disappear
suddenly and you discover that they have gone for "chow." Then
you know that the end is really in sight, for chow usually is
the last thing.
We waited nearly two
hours on this particular morning before we started on the long
climb to the top of the mountain. The sun
was simply blazing, and in fifteen minutes we were soaked with
perspiration. When we were half way up the dogs disappeared in
a small ravine overgrown with bamboo and sword grass and suddenly
broke into a chorus of yelps. They had found a fresh trail and
were driving our way.
Harry ran to a narrow
opening in the jungle, shouting to us to watch another higher
up. We were hardly in position when his rifle banged, followed
by such a bedlam of yells and barks that we thought he must have
killed nothing less than one of the hunters. Before we reached
them Harry appeared, smiling all over, and dragging a muntjac
(Muntiacus) by the fore legs. He had just made a beautiful
shot, for the clearing he had been watching was not more than
ten feet wide and the muntjac flashed across it at full speed.
Caldwell fired while it was in midair and his bullet caught the
animal at the base of the neck, rolling it over stone dead.
This beautiful little
deer in Fukien is hardly larger than a fox. Its antlers are only
two or three inches in length and rise from an elongated skin-covered
pedicel instead of from the base of the skull as in all other
members of the deer family. On each side of the upper jaw is a
slender tusk, about two inches long, which projects well beyond
the lips and makes a rather formidable weapon.
We hoped that this
muntjac was going to prove a "good joss," but instead a disappointing
day was in store for us. When we had worked our way to the very
summit of the mountain under a merciless sun and over a trail
which led through a smothering bamboo jungle, we saw dozens of
fresh serow tracks. The animals were there
without a doubt and we were on the qui vive with excitement.
We selected positions
and the men made a long circuit to drive toward us as Caldwell
had directed. After half an hour had passed we heard them yelling
as they closed in, but what was our disgust to see them solemnly
parading in single file up the bottom of the valley on an open
trail and carefully avoiding all thickets where a serow could
possibly be. As Harry expressed it, "all the animals had to do
was to sit tight and watch the noble procession pass." The beaters
very evidently knew nothing whatever about driving nor were we
able to teach them, for they seriously objected to leaving the
open trails and going into the bush.
We worked hard for
serow but the men were hopeless and it was impossible to "still
hunt" the animals at that time of the year. The natives say that
in September when the mushrooms are abundant in the lower forests
the serow leave the mountain tops and thick cover to feed upon
the fungus, and that they may be killed without the aid of beaters,
but at any time the hunt would involve a vast amount of labor
with only a moderate chance of success. After we had left Fukien,
Mr. Caldwell purchased a fine male and female serow for us which
are especially interesting as they represent a different subspecies
(Capricornis sumatrensis argyrochcaetes) from those we
killed in Yün-nan.
yield us results, however, for we discovered a wonderful bat cave
less than a mile from our temple. Its entrance was a low round
hole half covered with vegetation, and opening into a high circular
gallery; from this three long corridors branched off like fingers
from the palm of a giant's hand. The cave
was literally alive with bats. There must have been ten thousand
and on the first day we killed a hundred, representing seven species
and at least four genera. This was especially remarkable as it
is unusual to find more than two or three species living together.
The cave was a regular
bat apartment house for each corridor was divided by rock partitions
into several small rooms in every one of which bats of different
species were rearing their families. The young in most instances
were only a few days old but were thickly clustered on the walls
and ceilings, and each and every one was squeaking at the top
of its tiny lungs. The place must have been occupied for scores,
if not hundreds, of years for the floor was knee-deep with dung.
When we returned the
day after our first visit we found that many of the young bats
had been removed by their parents and in some instances entire
rooms had been vacated. After the first day the odor of the cave
was so nauseating that to enable us to go inside it was necessary
to wear gauze pads of iodoform over our noses.
The bats at this place
were killed with bamboo switches but later we always used a long
gill net which had been especially made in New York. We could
hang the net over the entrance to a cave and, when all was ready,
send a native into the galleries to stir up the animals. As they
flew out they became entangled in the net and could be caught
or killed before they were able to get away. It was sometimes
possible to catch every specimen in a cavern, and moreover, to
secure them in perfect condition without broken skulls or wings.
If a bat escaped from
the net it would never again strike it,
for the animals are wonderfully accurate in flight and most expert
dodgers. Even while in a cave, where hundreds of bats were in
the air, they seldom flew against us, although we might often
be brushed by their wings; and it was a most difficult thing to
hit them with a bamboo switch. Their ability in dodging is without
doubt a necessary development of their feeding habits for, with
the exception of a few species, bats live exclusively upon insects
and catch them in the air.
It is a rather terrifying
experience for a girl to sit in a bat cave especially if the light
has gone out and she is in utter darkness. Of course she has a
cap tightly pulled over her ears, for what girl, even if she be
a naturalist's wife, would venture into a den of evil bats with
one wisp of hair exposed!
All about is the swish
of ghostly wings which brush her face or neck and the air is full
of chattering noises like the grinding of hundreds of tiny teeth.
Sometimes a soft little body plumps into her lap and if she dares
to take her hands from her face long enough to disengage the clinging
animal she is liable to receive a vicious bite from teeth as sharp
as needles. But, withal, it is good fun, and think how quickly
formalin jars or collecting trays can be filled with beautiful
THE YEN-PING REBELLION
On Sunday, June 18,
we went to the bat cave to obtain a new supply of specimens. Upon
our return, just as we were about to sit down to luncheon, four
excited Chinese appeared with the following letter from Mr. Caldwell:
There was quite
a lively time in the city at an early hour this morning. The
rebels have taken Yen-ping and it looks as though there was
trouble ahead. Northern soldiers have been sent for and the
chances are that either tonight or tomorrow morning there will
be quite a battle. Bankhardt, Dr. Trimble and myself have just
made a round of the city, visiting the telegraph office, post
office and other places, and while we do not believe that the
foreigners will be molested, nevertheless it is impossible to
tell just what to expect. It is certain, however, that the Consul
will order all of us to Foochow if news of the situation reaches
there. Owing to the uncertainty, I think you had better come
in to Yen-ping so as to be ready for any eventuality.
After talking the
situation over with Dr. Trimble and Mr. Bankhardt, we all agreed
that the wisest thing is for you to come in immediately. I am
sending four burden-bearers for it will be out of the question
to find any tomorrow, if trouble occurs tonight. The city gates
are closed so you will have to climb up the ladder over the
wall behind our compound. Best wishes.
It is again reported that Northern soldiers are to arrive tonight.
If they do and trouble occurs your only chance is to get to
The camp immediately
was thrown into confusion for Da-Ming, the cook, and the burden-bearers
were jabbering excitedly at the top of their voices. The servants
began to pack the loads at once and meanwhile we ate a roast chicken
faster than good table manners would permitin fact, we took
it in our fingers. We were both delighted at the prospect of some
excitement and talked almost as fast as the Chinese.
In just one hour from
the time Harry's letter had been received, we were on the way
to Yen-ping. It was the hottest part of the day, and we were dripping
with perspiration when we left the cool darkness of the ravine
and struck across the open valley, which lay shimmering in a furnace-like
heat. At the first rest house on the top of the long hill we waited
nearly an hour for our bearers who were struggling under the heavy
Three miles farther
on a poor woman tottered past us on her peglike feet leaning on
the arm of a man. A short distance more and we came to the second
rest house. We had been there but a few moments when three panting
women, steadying themselves with long staves and barely able to
walk on feet not more than four inches long, came up the hill.
With them were several men bearing household goods in large bundles
and huge red boxes.
The exhausted women
sank upon the benches and fanned themselves while the perspiration
ran down their flushed faces. They looked
so utterly miserable that we told the cook to give them a piece
of cake which Mrs. Caldwell had sent us the day before. Their
gratitude was pitiful, but, of course, they gave the larger share
to the men.
It was not long before
other women and children appeared on the hill path, all struggling
upward under heavy loads, or tottering along on tightly bound
feet. Probably these women had not walked so far in their entire
lives, but the fear of the Northern soldiers and what would happen
in the city if they took possession had driven them from their
Farther on we had
a clear view across the valley where a long line of people was
filing up to a temple which nestled into the hillside. Half a
mile beyond were two other temples both crowded with refugees
and their goods. Hundreds of families were seeking shelter in
every little house beside the road and were overflowing into the
cowsheds and pigpens.
At six o'clock we
stood on the summit of the hill overlooking the city and half
an hour later were clambering up the ladder over the high wall
of the compound, just behind Dr. Trimble's house. We were wet
through and while cooling off heard the story of the morning's
fighting. It seemed that a certain element in the city was in
cooperation with the representatives of the revolutionary organization.
These men wished to obtain possession of Yen-ping and, after the
rebellion was well started, to gather forces, march to Foochow,
and force the Governor to declare the independence of the province.
The plot had been
hatching for several days, but the death of Yuan Shi-kai had somewhat
delayed its fruition. Saturday, however, it was known throughout
the city that trouble would soon begin.
Sunday morning at half past three, a band of one hundred men from
Yuchi had marched to Yen-ping where they were received by a delegation
of rebels dressed in white who opened to them the east gate of
the city. Immediately they began to fire up the streets to intimidate
the people and in a short time were in a hot engagement with the
seventeen Northern soldiers, some of whom threw away their guns
and swam across the river. The remaining city troops were from
the province of Hunan and their sympathies were really with the
South in the great rebellion. These immediately joined the rebels,
where they were received with open arms. It was reported that
the tao-tai (district mandarin) had asked for troops from
Foochow and that these might be expected at any moment; thus when
they arrived a real battle could be expected and it was very likely
that the city would be partly destroyed.
We had a picnic supper
on the Caldwell's porch and discussed the situation. It was the
opinion of all that the foreigners were in no immediate danger,
but nevertheless it was considered wise to be prepared, and we
decided upon posts for each man if it should become necessary
to protect the compound.
Hundreds of people
were besieging the missionaries with requests to be allowed to
bring their goods and families inside the walls, but these necessarily
had to be refused. Had the missionaries allowed the Chinese to
bring their valuables inside it would have cost them the right
of Consular protection and, moreover, their compound would have
been the first to be attacked if looting began.
On Monday morning
while we were sitting on the porch of Mr.
Caldwell's house preparing some bird skins, there came a sharp
crackle of rifle fire and then a roar of shots. Bullets began
to whistle over us and we could see puffs of smoke as the deep
bang of a black powder gun punctuated the vicious snapping of
the high-power rifles. The firing gradually ceased after half
an hour and we decided to go down to the city to see what had
happened, for, as no Northern troops had appeared, the cause of
the fighting was a mystery.
We went first to the
mission hospital which lay across a deep ravine and only a few
yards from the quarters of the soldiers. At the door of the hospital
compound lay a bloody rag, and we found Dr. Trimble in the operating
room examining a wounded man who had just been brought in. The
fellow had been shot in the abdomen with a 45-caliber lead ball
that had gone entirely through him, emerging about three inches
to the right of his spine.
From the doctor we
got the first real news of the puzzling situation. It appeared
that all the men who had arrived Sunday morning from Yuchi to
join the Yen-ping rebels were in reality brigands and, to save
their own lives, the Hunan soldiers quartered in the city had
played a clever trick. They had pretended to join the rebels but
at a given signal had turned upon them, killing or capturing almost
every one. Although their sympathies were really with the South,
the Hunan men knew that the rebels in Yen-ping could not hold
the city against the Northern soldiers from Foochow and, by crushing
the rebellion themselves, they hoped to avert a bigger fight.
As we could not help
the doctor he suggested that we might be of some assistance to
the wounded in the city, and with rude crosses
of red cloth pinned to our white shirt sleeves we left the hospital,
accompanied by four Chinese attendants bearing a stretcher. In
the compound we met a chair in which was lying an old man groaning
loudly and dripping with blood. Beside him were his wife and several
boys. The poor woman was crying quietly and, between her sobs,
was offering the wounded man mustard pickles from a small dish
in her hand! Poor things, they have so little to eat that they
believe food will cure all ills!
The bearers set the
chair down as we appeared and lifted the filthy rag which covered
a gaping wound in the man's shoulder, over which had been plastered
a great mass of cow dung. Just think of the infection, but it
was the only remedy they knew!
We took the man upstairs
where Dr. Trimble was preparing to operate on the fellow who had
been shot in the abdomen. The doctor was working steadily and
quietly, making every move count and inspiring his native hospital
staff with his own coolness; the way this young missionary handled
his cases made us glad that he was an American.
On the way down the
hill several soldiers passed us, each carrying four or five rifles
and slung about with cartridge beltsplunder stripped from
the men who had been killed. A few hundred yards farther on we
found two brigands lying dead in a narrow street. The nearest
one had fallen on his face and, as we turned him over, we saw
that half his head had been blown away; the other was staring
upward with wide open eyes on which the flies already were settling
There was little use
in wasting time over these men who long ago had passed beyond
need of our help, and we went on rapidly
down the alley to the main thoroughfare. Guided by a small boy,
we hurried over the rough stones for fifteen minutes, and suddenly
came to a man lying at the side of the street, his head propped
on a wooden block. An umbrella once had partly covered him but
had fallen away, leaving him unprotected in the broiling sun.
His face and a terrible wound in his head were a solid mass of
flies, and thousands of insects were crawling over the blood clots
on the stones beside him. At first we thought he was dead but
soon saw his abdomen move and realized that he was breathing.
It did not seem possible that a human being could live under such
conditions; and yet the bystanders told us that he had been lying
there for thirty hourshe had been shot early the previous
morning and it was now three o'clock of the next afternoon.
The man was a poor
water-carrier who lived with his wife in the most utter poverty.
He had been peering over the city wall when the firing began Sunday
morning and was one of the first innocent bystanders to pay the
penalty of his curiosity. I asked why he had not been taken to
the hospital, and the answer was that his wife was too poor to
hire anyone to carry him and he had no friends. So there he lay
in the burning sun, gazed at by hundreds of passersby, without
one hand being lifted to help him.
Our hospital attendants
brushed away the flies, placed him in the stretcher and started
up the long hill, followed by the haggard, weeping wife and a
curious crowd. On every hand were questions: "Why are these men
taking him away?" "What are they going to do with him?" But several
educated natives who understood said, "Ing-ai-gidaiie"
(A work of love). They got right there a
lesson in Christianity which they will not soon forget. It is
seldom that Chinese try to help an injured man, for ever present
in their minds is the possibility that he may die and that they
will be responsible for his burial expenses.
We left the stretcher
bearers at the corner of the main street with orders to return
as soon as they had deposited the man in the hospital and, under
the guidance of a boy, hurried toward the east gate where it was
said seven or eight men had been shot. Our guide took us first
to a brigand who had been wounded and left to die beside the gutter.
The corpse was a horrible sight and with a feeling of deathly
nausea we made a hurried examination and walked to the gate at
the end of the street.
A dozen soldiers were
on guard. We learned from the officer that there were no wounded
in the pile of dead just beyond the entrance, so we turned toward
the river bank and rapidly patrolled the alleys leading to the
tao-tai's yamen (official residence) where the firing had
been heaviest. The yamen was crowded with soldiers, and
we were informed that the dead had all been removed and that there
were no woundeda grim statement which told its own story.
The yamen is
but a short distance from the hospital so we climbed the hill
to the compound. The sun was simply blazing and I realized then
what the wounded men must have suffered lying in the heat without
shelter. We returned to the house and were resting on the upper
porch when suddenly, far down the river, we saw the glint of rifle
barrels in the sunlight, and with field glasses made out a long
line of khaki-clad men winding along the shore trail. At the same
time two huge boats filled with soldiers
came into view heading for the water gate of the city. These were
undoubtedly the Northern troops from Foochow who were expected
Even as we looked
there came a sudden roar of musketry and a cloud of smoke drifted
up from the barracks right below usthen a rattling fusillade
of shots. We could see soldiers running along the walls firing
at men below and often in our direction. Bullets hummed in the
air like angry bees and we rushed for cover, but in a few moments
the firing ceased as suddenly as it began.
We were at a loss
to know what it all meant and why the troops were firing upon
the Northern soldiers whom they wished to placate. It was still
a mystery when we sat down to dinner at half past seven, but a
few minutes later Mr. Bankhardt rushed in saying that he had just
received a note from the tao-tai. The mandarin's personal
servant had brought word that the Northern soldiers, who had just
entered the city, were going to kill him and he begged the missionaries
for assistance. Bankhardt also told us of the latest developments
in the situation. It seems that the city soldiers supposed the
Northern troops to be brigands and had fired upon them and killed
several before they discovered their mistake. A very delicate
situation had thus been precipitated, for the Northern commander
believed that it was treachery and intended to attack the barracks
in the morning and kill every man whom he found with a rifle,
as well as all the city officials.
The story of the way
in which the missionaries acted as peacemakers, saved the tao-tai,
and prevented the slaughter which surely would have taken place
in the morning, is too long to be told here,
for it was accomplished only after hours of the talk and "face
saving" so dear to the heart of the Oriental. Suffice it to say
that through the exercise of great tact and a thorough understanding
of the Chinese character they were able to settle the matter without
The following day
twenty brigands were given a so-called trial, marched off to the
west gate, beheaded amid great enthusiasm, and the incident was
closed. In the afternoon a messenger called and delivered to each
of us an official letter from the commander of the Northern troops
thanking us for the part we had played in averting trouble and
bringing the matter to a peaceful end.
An interesting sidelight
on the affair was received a few days later. A young man, a Christian,
who was born in the same town from which a number of the brigands
had come, went to his house on Monday night after the fight and
found seven of the robbers concealed in his bedroom. He was terrified
because if they were discovered he and all his family would be
killed for aiding the bandits. He told them they must leave at
once, but they pleaded with him to let them stay for they knew
there were soldiers at every corner and that it would be impossible
to get away.
While he was imploring
them to go, a knock sounded at the door. He pushed the brigands
into the courtyard, and opened to three soldiers. They said: "We
understand you have brigands in your house." He was trembling
with fear, but answered, "Come in and see for yourself, if you
The soldiers were
satisfied by his frank open manner and, as they knew him to be
a good man, did not search the house, but went away. The poor
fellow was frightened nearly to death, but
as his place was being watched it was impossible for the brigands
to leave during the day.
At night they stripped
themselves, shaved their heads, and dressed like coolies, and
were able to get to the ladder down the city wall just below the
mission compound where they could escape into the hills.
The day after this
occurrence, about four o'clock in the afternoon, a breathless
Chinese appeared at the house with a note to Mr. Bankhardt saying
that his Chinese teacher and the mission school cook had been
arrested by the Northern soldiers and were to be beheaded in an
hour. We hurried to the police office where they were confined
and found that not only the two men but three others were in custody.
The mission cook owned
a small restaurant under the management of one of his relatives
and, while Bankhardt's teacher and the other man were sitting
at a table, some Northern soldiers appeared, one of whom owed
the restaurant keeper a small amount of money. When asked to pay,
the soldier turned upon him and shouted: "You have been assisting
the brigands. I saw some of them carrying goods into your house."
Thereupon the soldiers arrested everyone in the shop.
The police officials
were quite ready to release the teacher and the other man upon
our statements, but they would not allow the cook to go. His hands
were kept tightly bound and he was chained to a post by the neck.
The soldier who arrested him was his sole accuser, but of course,
others would appear to uphold him in his charge if it were necessary.
The cook was as innocent
as any one of the missionaries, but it required several hours
of work and threats of complaint to the
government at Foochow to prevent the man from being summarily
We were not able to
get any mail from Foochow during the rebellion because the constant
stream of Northern soldiers on their way up the river had paralyzed
the entire country to such an extent that all the river men had
The soldiers were
firing for target practice upon every boat they saw on the river
and dozens of men had been killed and then robbed. The Northern
commander told us frankly that this could not be prevented, and
when we announced that we were going to start will all the missionaries
down the river on the following day, he was very much disturbed.
He insisted that we have American flags displayed on our boats
to prevent being fired upon by the soldiers.
Although it had taken
eight days to work our way laboriously through the rapids and
up the river from Foochow to Yen-Ping, we covered the same distance
down the river in twenty-four hours and had breakfast with Mr.
Kellogg at his house the morning after we left Yen-Ping. In two
days our equipment was repacked and ready for the trip to Futsing
to hunt the blue tiger.
HUNTING THE "GREAT
For many years before
Mr. Caldwell went to Yen-ping he had been stationed at the city
of Futsing, about thirty miles from Foochow. Much of his work
consisted of itinerant trips during which he visited the various
mission stations under his charge. He almost invariably went on
foot from place to place and carried with him a butterfly net
and a rifle, so that to so keen a naturalist each day's walk was
full of interest.
The country was infested
with man-eating tigers, and very often the villagers implored
him to rid their neighborhood of some one of the yellow raiders
which had been killing their children, pigs, or cattle. During
ten years he had killed seven tigers in the Futsing region. He
often said that his gun had been just as effective in carrying
Christianity to the natives as had his evangelistic work. Although
Mr. Caldwell has been especially fortunate and has killed his
tigers without ever really hunting them, nevertheless it is a
most uncertain sport as we were destined to learn. The tiger is
the "Great Invisible"he is everywhere and nowhere, here
today and gone tomorrow. A sportsman in China may get his shot
the first day out or he may hunt for weeks without ever seeing
a tiger even though they are all about him; and it is this very
uncertainty that makes the game all the more fascinating.
The part of Fukien
Province about Futsing includes mountains
of considerable height, many of which are planted with rice and
support a surprising number of Chinese who are grouped in closely
connected villages. While the cultivated valleys afford no cover
for tiger and the mountain slopes themselves are usually more
or less denuded of forest, yet the deep and narrow ravines, choked
with sword grass and thorny bramble, offer an impenetrable retreat
in which an animal can sleep during the day without fear of being
disturbed. It is possible for a man to make his way through these
lairs only by means of the paths and tunnels which have been opened
by the tigers themselves.
Mr. Caldwell's usual
method of hunting was to lead a goat with one or two kids to an
open place where they could be fastened just outside the edge
of the lair, and then to conceal himself a few feet away. The
bleating of the goats would usually bring the tiger into the open
where there would be an opportunity for a shot in the late afternoon.
Mr. Caldwell's first
experience in hunting tigers was with a shotgun at the village
of Lung-tao. His burden-bearers had not arrived with the basket
containing his rifle, and as it was already late in the afternoon,
he suggested to Da-Da, the Chinese boy who was his constant companion,
that they make a preliminary inspection of the lair even though
they carried only shotguns loaded with lead slugs about the size
They tethered a goat
just outside the edge of the lair and the tiger responded to its
bleating almost immediately. Caldwell did not see the animal until
it came into the open about fifty yards away and remained in plain
view for almost half an hour. The tiger seemed to suspect danger
and crouched on the terrace, now and then
putting his right foot forward a short distance and drawing it
slowly back again. He had approached along a small trail, but
before he could reach the goat it was necessary to cross an open
space a few yards in width, and to do this the animal flattened
himself like a huge striped serpent. His head was extended so
that the throat and chin were touching the ground, and there was
absolutely no motion of the body other than the hips and shoulders
as the beast slid along at an amazingly rapid rate. But at the
instant the cat gained the nearest cover it made three flying
leaps and landed at the foot of the terrace upon which the goat
"Just then he saw
me," said Mr. Caldwell, "and slowly pushed his great black-barred
face over the edge of the grass not fifteen feet away.
"I fired pointblank
at his head and neck. He leaped into the air with the blood spurting
over the grass, and fell into a heap, but gathered himself and
slid down over the terraces. As he went I fired a second load
of slugs into his hip. He turned about, slowly climbed the hill
parallel with us, and stood looking back at me, his face streaming
"I was fumbling in
my coat trying to find other shells, but before I could reload
the gun he walked unsteadily into the lair and lay down. It was
already too dark to follow and the next morning a bloody trail
showed where he had gone upward into the grass. Later, in the
same afternoon, he was found dead by some Chinese more than three
During his many experiences
with the Futsing tigers Mr. Caldwell has learned much about their
habits and peculiarities, and some of his
observations are given in the following pages.
"The tiger is by instinct
a coward when confronted by his greatest enemyman. Bold
and daring as he may be when circumstances are in his favor, he
will hurriedly abandon a fresh kill at the first cry of a shepherd
boy attending a flock on the mountainside and will always weigh
conditions before making an attack. If things do not exactly suit
him nothing will tempt him to charge into the open upon what may
appear to be an isolated and defenseless goat.
"An experience I had
in April, 1910, will illustrate this point. I led a goat into
a ravine where a tiger which had been working havoc among the
herds of the farmers was said to live. This animal only a few
days previous to my hunt had attacked a herd of cows and killed
three of them, but on this occasion the beast must have suspected
danger and was exceedingly cautious. He advanced under cover along
a trail until within one hundred feet of the goat and there stopped
to make a survey of the surroundings. Peering into the valley,
he saw two men at a distance of five hundred yards or more cutting
grass and, after watching intently for a time, the great cat turned
and bounded away into the bushes.
"On another occasion
this tiger awaited an opportunity to attack a cow which a farmer
was using in plowing his field. The man had unhitched his cow
and squatted down in the rice paddy to eat his midday meal, when
the tiger suddenly rushed from cover and killed the animal only
a few yards behind the peasant. This shows how daring a tiger
may be when he is able to strike from the rear, and when circumstances
seem to favor an attack. I have known tigers
to rush at a dog or hog standing inside a Chinese house where
there was the usual confusion of such a dwelling, and in almost
every instance the victim was killed, although it was not always
"There is probably
no creature in the wilds which shows such a combination of daring
strategy and slinking cowardice as the tiger. Often courage fails
him after he has secured his victim, and he releases it to dash
off into the nearest wood.
"I knew of two Chinese
who were deer hunting on a mountainside when a large tiger was
routed from his bed. The beast made a rushing attack on the man
standing nearest to the path of his retreat, and seizing him by
the leg dragged him into the ravine below. Luckily the man succeeded
in grasping a small tree whereupon the tiger released his hold,
leaving his victim lying upon the ground almost paralyzed with
pain and fear.
"A group of men were
gathering fuel on the hills near Futsing when a tiger which had
been sleeping in the high grass was disturbed. The enraged beast
turned upon the peasants, killing two of them instantly and striking
another a ripping blow with his paw which sent him lifeless to
the terrace below. The beast did not attempt to drag either of
its victims into the bush or to attack the other persons near
"The strength and
vitality of a full grown tiger are amazing. I had occasion to
spend the night a short time ago in a place where a tiger had
performed some remarkable feats. Just at dusk one of these marauders
visited the village and discovered a cow and her six-months-old
calf in a pen which had been excavated in
the side of a hill and adjoined a house. There was no possible
way to enter the enclosure except by a door opening from the main
part of the dwelling or to descend from above. The tiger jumped
from the roof upon the neck of the heifer, killing it instantly,
and the inmates of the house opened the door just in time to see
the animal throw the calf out bodily and leap after it himself.
I measured the embankment and found that the exact height was
twelve and a half feet.
"The same tiger one
noon on a foggy day attacked a hog, just back of the village and
carried it into the hills. The villagers pursued the beast and
overtook it within half a mile. When the hog, which dressed weighed
more than two hundred pounds, was found, it had no marks or bruises
upon it other than the deep fang wounds in the neck. This is another
instance where courage failed a tiger after he had made off with
his kill to a safe distance. The Chinese declare that when carrying
such a load a tiger never attempts to drag its prey, but throws
it across its back and races off at top speed.
"The finest trophy
taken from Fukien Province in years I shot in May, 1910. Two days
previous to my hunt this tiger had killed and eaten a sixteen-year-old
boy. I happened to be in the locality and decided to make an attempt
to dispose of the troublesome beast. Obtaining a mother goat with
two small kids, I led them into a ravine near where the boy had
been killed. The goat was tied to a tree a short distance from
the lair, and the kids were concealed in the tall grass well in
toward the place where the tiger would probably be. I selected
a suitable spot and kneeled down behind a bank of ferns and grass.
The fact that one may be stalked by the
very beast which one is hunting adds to the excitement and keeps
one's nerves on edge. I expected that the tiger would approach
stealthily as long as he could not see the goat, as the usual
plan of attack, so far as my observation goes, is to creep up
under cover as far as possible before rushing into the open. In
any case the tiger would be within twenty yards of me before it
could be seen.
"For more than two
hours I sat perfectly still, alert and waiting, behind the little
blind of ferns and grass. There was nothing to break the silence
other than the incessant bleating of the goats and the unpleasant
rasping call of the mountain jay. I had about given up hope of
a shot when suddenly the huge head of the man-eater emerged from
the bush, exactly where I had expected he would appear and within
fifteen feet of the kids. The back, neck, and head of the beast
were in almost the same plane as he moved noiselessly forward.
"I had implicit confidence
in the killing power of the gun in my hand, and at the crack of
the rifle the huge brute settled forward with hardly a quiver
not ten feet from the kids upon which he was about to spring.
A second shot was not necessary but was fired as a matter of precaution
as the tiger had fallen behind rank grass, and the bullet passed
through the shoulder blade lodging in the spine. The beast measured
more than nine feet and weighed almost four hundred pounds.
"Upon hearing the
shots the villagers swarmed into the ravine, each eager not so
much to see their slain tormentor as to gather up the blood. But
little attention was paid to the tiger until every available drop
was sopped up with rags torn from their clothing, whilst men
and children even pulled up the blood-soaked grass. I learned
that the blood of a tiger is used for two purposes. A bit of bloodstained
cloth is tied about the neck of a child as a preventive against
either measles or smallpox, and tiger flesh is eaten for the same
purpose. It is also said that if a handkerchief stained with tiger
blood is waved in front of an attacking dog the animal will slink
away cowed and terrified.
"From the Chinese
point of view the skin is not the most valuable part of a tiger.
Almost always before a hunt is made, or a trap is built, the villagers
burn incense before the temple god, and an agreement is made to
the effect that if the enterprise be successful the skin of the
beast taken becomes the property of the gods. Thus it happens
that in many of the temples handsome tiger-skin robes may be found
spread in the chair occupied by the noted 'Duai Uong,' or the
god of the land. When a hunt is successful, the flesh and bones
are considered of greatest value, and it often happens that a
number of cows are killed and their flesh mixed with that of the
tiger to be sold at the exorbitant price cheerfully paid for tiger
meat. The bones are boiled for a number of days until a gelatin-like
product results, and this is believed to be exceptionally efficacious
danger of still-hunting a tiger in the tangle of its lair, one
cannot but feel richly rewarded for the risk when one begins to
sum up one's observations. The most interesting result of investigating
an oft-frequented lair is concerning the animal's food. That a
tiger always devours its prey upon the spot where it is taken
or in the adjacent bush is an erroneous idea. This is often true
when the kill is too heavy to be carried
for a long distance, but it is by no means universally so. Not
long ago the remains of a young boy were found in a grave adjacent
to a tiger's lair a few miles from Futsing city. No child had
been reported missing in the immediate neighborhood and everything
indicated that the boy had been brought alive to this spot from
a considerable distance. The sides of the grave were besmeared
with the blood of the unfortunate victim, indicating that the
tiger had tortured it just as a cat plays with a mouse as long
as it remains alive.
"In the lair of a
tiger there are certain terraces, or places under overhanging
trees, which are covered with bones, and are evidently spots to
which the animal brings its prey to be devoured. On such a terrace
one will find the remains of deer, wild hog, dog, pig, porcupine,
pangolin, and other animals both domestic and wild. A fresh kill
shows that with its rasp-like tongue the tiger licks off all the
hair of its prey before devouring it and the hair will be found
in a circle around what remains of the kill. The Chinese often
raid a lair in order to gather up the quills of the porcupine
and the bony scales of the pangolin which are esteemed for medicinal
"In addition to the
larger animals, tigers feed upon reptiles and frogs which they
find among the rice fields. On the night of April 22, 1914, a
party of frog catchers were returning from a hunt when the man
carrying the load of frogs was attacked by a tiger and killed.
The animal made no attempt to drag the man away and it would appear
that it was attracted by the croaking of the frogs."
"One often finds trees
'marked' by tigers beside some trail or
path in, or adjacent to, a lair. Catlike, the tiger measures its
full length upon a tree, standing in a convenient place, and with
its powerful claws rips deeply through the bark. This sign is
doubly interesting to the sportsman as it not only indicates the
presence of a tiger in the immediate vicinity but serves to give
an accurate idea as to the size of the beast. The trails leading
into a lair often are marked in a different way. In doing this
the animal rakes away the grass with a forepaw and gathers it
into a pile, but claw prints never appear."
THE BLUE TIGER
After one has traveled
in a Chinese sampan for several days the prospect of a
river journey is not very alluring but we had a most agreeable
surprise when we sailed out of Foochow in a chartered house boat
to hunt the "blue tiger" at Futsing. In fact, we had all the luxury
of a private yacht, for our boat contained a large central cabin
with a table and chairs and two staterooms and was manned by a
captain and crew of six menall for $1.50 per day!
In the evening we
talked of the blue tiger for a long time before we spread our
beds on the roof of the boat and went to sleep under the stars.
We left the boat shortly after daylight at Daing-nei for the six-mile
walk to Lung-tao. To my great surprise the coolies were considerably
distressed at the lightness of our loads. In this region they
are paid by weight and some of the bearers carry almost incredible
burdens. As an example, one of our men came into camp swinging
a 125-pound trunk on each end of his pole, laughing and chatting
as gayly as though he had not been carrying 250 pounds for six
miles under a broiling sun.
Mr. Caldwell's Chinese
hunter, Da-Da, lived at Lung-tao and we found his house to be
one of several built on the outskirts of a beautiful grove of
gum and banyan trees. Although it was exceptionally clean for
a Chinese dwelling, we pitched our tents a short distance
away. At first we were somewhat doubtful about sleeping outside,
but after one night indoors we decided that any risk was preferable
to spending another hour in the stifling heat of the house.
It was probable that
a tiger would be so suspicious of the white tents that it would
not attack us, but nevertheless during the first nights we were
rather wakeful and more than once at some strange night sound
seized our rifles and flashed the electric lamp into the darkness.
Tigers often come
into this village. Only a few hundred yards from our camp site,
in 1911, a tiger had rushed into the house of one of the peasants
and attempted to steal a child that had fallen asleep at its play
under the family table. All was quiet in the house when suddenly
the animal dashed through the open door. The Chinese declare that
the gods protected the infant, for the beast missed his prey and
seizing the leg of the table against which the baby's head was
resting, bolted through the door dragging the table into the courtyard.
This was the work
of the famous "blue tiger" which we had come to hunt and which
had on two occasions been seen by Mr. Caldwell. The first time
he heard of this strange beast was in the spring of 1910. The
animal was reported as having been seen at various places within
an area of a few miles almost simultaneously and so mysterious
were its movements that the Chinese declared it was a spirit of
the devil. After several unsuccessful hunts Mr. Caldwell finally
saw the tiger at close range but as he was armed with only a shotgun
it would have been useless to shoot.
His second view of
the beast was a few weeks later and in the
same place. I will give the story in his own words:
"I selected a spot
upon a hilltop and cleared away the grass and ferns with a jackknife
for a place to tie the goat. I concealed myself in the bushes
ten feet away to await the attack, but the unexpected happened
and the tiger approached from the rear.
"When I first saw
the beast he was moving stealthily along a little trail just across
a shallow ravine. I supposed, of course, that he was trying to
locate the goat which was bleating loudly, but to my horror I
saw that he was creeping upon two boys who had entered the ravine
to cut grass. The huge brute moved along lizard-fashion for a
few yards and then cautiously lifted his head above the grass.
He was within easy springing distance when I raised my rifle,
but instantly I realized that if I wounded the animal the boys
would certainly meet a horrible death.
"Tigers are usually
afraid of the human voice so instead of firing I stepped from
the bushes, yelling and waving my arms. The huge cat, crouched
for a spring, drew back, wavered uncertainly for a moment, and
then slowly slipped away into the grass. The boys were saved but
I had lost the opportunity I had sought for over a year.
"However, I had again
seen the animal about which so many strange tales had been told.
The markings of the beast are strikingly beautiful. The ground
color is of a delicate shade of maltese, changing into light gray-blue
on the underparts. The stripes are well defined and like those
of the ordinary yellow tiger."
Before I left New
York Mr. Caldwell had written me repeatedly urging me to stop
at Futsing on the way to Yün-nan to try
with him for the blue tiger which was still in the neighborhood.
I was decidedly skeptical as to its being a distinct species,
but nevertheless it was a most interesting animal and would certainly
be well worth getting.
I believed then, and
my opinion has since been strengthened, that it is a partially
melanistic phase of the ordinary yellow tiger. Black leopards
are common in India and the Malay Peninsula and as only a single
individual of the blue tiger has been reported the evidence hardly
warrants the assumption that it represents a distinct species.
We hunted the animal
for five weeks. The brute ranged in the vicinity of two or three
villages about seven miles apart, but was seen most frequently
near Lung-tao. He was as elusive as a will o' the wisp, killing
a dog or goat in one village and by the time we had hurried across
the mountains appearing in another spot a few miles away, leaving
a trail of terrified natives who flocked to our camp to recount
his depredations. He was in truth the "Great Invisible" and it
seemed impossible that we should not get him sooner or later,
but we never did.
Once we missed him
by a hair's breadth through sheer bad luck, and it was only by
exercising almost superhuman restraint that we prevented ourselves
from doing bodily harm to the three Chinese who ruined our hunt.
Every evening for a week we had faithfully taken a goat into the
"Long Ravine," for the blue tiger had been seen several times
near this lair. On the eighth afternoon we were in the "blind"
at three o'clock as usual. We had tied a goat to a tree nearby
and her two kids were but a few feet away.
The grass-filled lair
lay shimmering in the breathless heat, silent save for the echoes
of the bleating goats. Crouched behind the screen of branches,
for three long hours we sat in the patchwork shade,motionless,
dripping with perspiration, hardly breathing,and watched
the shadows steal slowly down the narrow ravine.
It was a wild place
which seemed to have been cut out of the mountain side with two
strokes of a mighty ax and was choked with a tangle of thorny
vines and sword grass. Impenetrable as a wall of steel, the only
entrance was by the tiger tunnels which drove their twisting way
through the murderous growth far in toward its gloomy heart.
The shadows had passed
over us and just reached a lone palm tree on the opposite hillside.
By that I knew it was six o'clock and in half an hour another
day of disappointment would be ended. Suddenly at the left and
just below us there came the faintest crunching sound as a loose
stone shifted under a heavy weight; then a rustling in the grass.
Instantly the captive goat gave a shrill bleat of terror and tugged
frantically at the rope which held it to the tree.
At the first sound
Harry had breathed in my ear "Get ready, he's coming." I was half
kneeling with my heavy .405 Winchester pushed forward and the
hammer up. The blood drummed in my ears and my neck muscles ached
with the strain but I thanked Heaven that my hands were steady.
Caldwell sat like
a graven image, the stock of his little 22 caliber high power
Savage nestling against his cheek. Our eyes met for an instant
and I knew in that glance that the blue
tiger would never make another charge, for if I missed him, Harry
wouldn't. For ten minutes we waited and my heart lost a beat when
twenty feet away the grass began to move againbut rapidly
and up the ravine.
I saw Harry watching
the lair with a puzzled look which changed to one of disgust as
a chorus of yells sounded across the ravine and three Chinese
wood cutters appeared on the opposite slope. They were taking
a short cut home, shouting to drive away the tigersand they
had succeeded only too well, for the blue tiger had slipped back
to the heart of the lair from whence he had come.
He had been nearly
ours and again we had lost him! I felt so badly that I could not
even swear and it wasn't the fact that Harry was a missionary
which kept me from it, either. Caldwell exclaimed just once, for
his disappointment was even more bitter than mine; he had been
hunting this same tiger off and on for six years.
It was useless for
us to wait longer that evening and we pushed our way through the
sword grass to the entrance of the tunnel down which the tiger
had come. There in the soft earth were the great footprints where
he had crouched at the entrance to take a cautious survey before
charging into the open.
As we looked, Harry
suddenly turned to me and said: "Roy, let's go into the lair.
There is just one chance in a thousand that we may get a shot."
Now I must admit that I was not very enthusiastic about that little
excursion, but in we went, crawling on our hands and knees up
the narrow passage. Every few feet we passed side branches from
the main tunnel in any one of which the tiger might easily have
been lying in wait and could have killed us as we passed. It was
a foolhardy thing to do and I am free to
admit that I was scared. It was not long before Harry twisted
about and said: "Roy, I haven't lost any tigers in here; let's
get out." And out we came faster than we went in.
This was only one
of the times when the "Great Invisible" was almost in our hands.
A few days later a Chinese found the blue tiger asleep under a
rice bank early in the afternoon. Frightened almost to death he
ran a mile and a half to our camp only to find that we had left
half an hour before for another village where the brute had killed
two wild cats early in the morning.
Again, the tiger pushed
open the door of a house at daybreak just as the members of the
family were getting up, stole a dog from the "heaven's well,"
dragged it to a hillside and partly devoured it. We were in camp
only a mile away and our Chinese hunters found the carcass on
a narrow ledge in the sword grass high up on the mountain side.
The spot was an impossible one to watch and we set a huge grizzly
bear trap which had been carried with us from New York.
It seemed out of the
question for any animal to return to the carcass of the dog without
getting caught and yet the tiger did it. With his hind quarters
on the upper terrace he dropped down, stretched his long neck
across the trap, seized the dog which had been wired to a tree
and pulled it away. It was evident that he was quite unconscious
of the trap for his fore feet had actually been placed upon one
of the jaws only two inches from the pan which would have sprung
One afternoon we responded
to a call from Bui-tao, a village seven miles beyond Lung-tao,
where the blue tiger had been seen that day. The natives assured
us that the animal continually crossed a
hill, thickly clothed with pines and sword grass just above the
village and even though it was late when we arrived Harry thought
it wise to set the trap that night.
It was pitch dark
before we reached the ridge carrying the trap, two lanterns, an
electric flash-lamp and a wretched little dog for bait. We had
been engaged for about fifteen minutes making a pen for the dog,
and Caldwell and I were on our knees over the trap when suddenly
a low rumbling growl came from the grass not twenty feet away.
We jumped to our feet just as it sounded again, this time ending
in a snarl. The tiger had arrived a few moments too early and
we were in the rather uncomfortable position of having to return
to the village by way of a narrow trail through the jungle. With
our rifles ready and the electric lamp cutting a brilliant path
in the darkness we walked slowly toward the edge of the sword
grass hoping to see the flash of the tiger's eyes, but the beast
backed off beyond the range of the light into an impenetrable
tangle where we could not follow. Apparently he was frightened
by the lantern, for we did not hear him again.
After nearly a month
of disappointments such as these Mr. Heller joined us at Bui-tao
with Mr. Kellogg. Caldwell thought it advisable to shift camp
to the Ling-suik monastery, about twelve miles away, where he
had once spent a summer with his family and had killed several
tigers. This was within the blue tiger's range and, moreover,
had the advantage of offering a better general collecting ground
than Bui-tao; thus with Heller to look after the small mammals
we could begin to make our time count for something if we did
not get the tiger.
Ling-suik is a beautiful
temple, or rather series of temples, built into a hillside at
the end of a long narrow valley which swells out like a great
bowl between bamboo clothed mountains, two thousand feet in height.
On his former visit Mr. Caldwell had made friends with the head
priest and we were allowed to establish ourselves upon the broad
porch of the third and highest building. It was an ideal place
for a collecting camp and would have been delightful except for
the terrible heat which was rendered doubly disagreeable by the
almost continual rain.
The priests who shuffled
about the temples were a hard lot. Most of them were fugitives
from justice and certainly looked the part, for a more disreputable,
diseased and generally undesirable body of men I have never seen.
Our stay at Ling-suik
was productive and the temple life interesting. We slept on the
porch and each morning, about half an hour before daylight, the
measured strokes of a great gong sounded from the temple just
below us. Boomboomboomboom it went, then
rapidly bang, bang, bang. It was a religious alarm clock
to rouse the world.
A little later when
the upturned gables and twisted dolphins on the roof had begun
to take definite shape in the gray light of the new day, the gong
boomed out again, doors creaked, and from their cell-like rooms
shuffled the priests to yawn and stretch themselves before the
early service. The droning chorus of hoarse voices, swelling in
a meaningless half-wild chant, harmonized strangely with the romantic
surroundings of the temple and become our daily matin and
At the first gong
we slipped from beneath our mosquito nets
and dressed to be ready for the bats which fluttered into the
building to hide themselves beneath the tiles and rafters. When
daylight had fully come we scattered to the four winds of heaven
to inspect traps, hunt barking deer, or collect birds, but gathered
again at nine o'clock for breakfast and to deposit our spoil.
Caldwell and I always spent the afternoon at the blue tiger's
lair but the animal had suddenly shifted his operations back to
Lung-tao and did not appear at Ling-suik while we were there.
Our work in Fukien
taught us much that may be of help to other naturalists who contemplate
a visit to this province. We satisfied ourselves that summer collecting
is impracticable, for the heat is so intense and the vegetation
so heavy that only meager results can be obtained for the efforts
expended. Continual tramping over the mountains in the blazing
sun necessarily must have its effect upon the strongest constitution,
and even a man like Mr. Caldwell, who has become thoroughly acclimated,
is not immune.
Both Caldwell and
I lost from fifteen to twenty pounds in weight during the time
we hunted the blue tiger and each of us had serious trouble from
abscesses. I have never worked in a more trying climateeven
that of Borneo and the Dutch East Indies where I collected in
1909-10, was much less debilitating than Fukien in the summer.
The average temperature was about 95 degrees in the shade, but
the humidity was so high that one felt as though one were wrapped
in a wet blanket and even during a six weeks' rainless period
the air was saturated with moisture from the sea-winds.
In winter the weather
is raw and damp, but collecting then would
be vastly easier than in summer, not only on account of climatic
conditions, but because much of the vegetation disappears and
there is an opportunity for "still hunting."
Trapping for small
mammal is especially difficult because of the dense population.
The mud dikes and the rice fields usually are covered with tracks
of civets, mongooses, and cats which come to hunt frogs or fish,
but if a trap is set it either catches a Chinaman or promptly
is stolen. Moreover, the small mammals are neither abundant nor
varied in number of species, and the larger forms, such as tiger,
leopard, wild pig and serow are exceedingly difficult to kill.
While our work in
the province was done during an unfavorable season and in only
two localities, yet enough was seen of the general conditions
to make it certain that a thorough zoölogical study of the region
would require considerable time and hard work and that the results,
so far as a large collection of mammals is concerned, would not
be highly satisfactory. Work in the western part of the province
among the Bohea Hills undoubtedly would be more profitable, but
even there it would be hardly worth while for an expedition with
limited time and money.
Bird life is on a
much better footing, but the ornithology of Fukien already has
received considerable attention through the collections of Swinhoe,
La Touche, Styan, Ricketts, Caldwell and others, and probably
not a great number of species remain to be described.
Much work could still
be done upon the herpetology of the region, however, and I believe
that this branch of zoology would be well worth investigation
for reptiles and batrachians are fairly
abundant and the natives would rather assist than retard one's
The language of Fukien
is a greater annoyance than in any other of the Chinese coast
provinces. The Foochow dialect (which is one of the most difficult
to learn) is spoken only within fifty or one hundred miles of
the city. At Yen-ping Mr. Caldwell, who speaks "Foochow" perfectly,
could not understand a word of the "southern mandarin" which is
the language of that region, and near Futsing, where a colony
of natives from Amoy have settled, the dialect is unintelligible
to one who knows only "Foochow."
Travel in Fukien is
an unceasing trial, for transport is entirely by coolies who carry
from eighty to one hundred pounds. The men are paid by distance
or weight; therefore, when coolies finally have been obtained
there is the inevitable wrangling over loads so that from one
to two hours are consumed before the party can start.
But the worst of it
is that one can never be certain when one's entire outfit will
arrive at its new destination. Some men walk much faster than
others, some will delay a long time for tea, or may give out altogether
if the day be hot, with the result that the last load will arrive
perhaps five or six hours after the first one.
As horses are not
to be had, if one does not walk the only alternative is to be
carried in a mountain chair, which is an uncomfortable, trapeze-like
affair and only to be found along the main highways. On the whole,
transport by manpower in China is so uncertain and expensive that
for a large expedition it forms a grave obstacle to successful
work, if time and funds be limited.
On the other hand,
servants are cheap and usually good. We
employed a very fair cook who received monthly seven dollars Mexican
(then about three and one-half dollars gold), and "boys" were
hired at from five to seven dollars (Mexican). As none of the
servants knew English they could be obtained at much lower wages,
but English-speaking cooks usually receive from fifteen to twenty
dollars (Mexican) a month.
It was hard to leave
Fukien without the blue tiger but we had hunted him unsuccessfully
for five weeks and there was other and more important work awaiting
us in Yün-nan. It required thirty porters to transport our baggage
from the Ling-suik monastery to Daing-nei, twenty-one miles away,
where two houseboats were to meet us, and by ten o'clock in the
evening we were lying off Pagoda Anchorage awaiting the flood
tide to take us to Foochow. We made our beds on the deck house
and in the morning opened our eyes to find the boat tied to the
wharf at the Custom House on the Bund, and ourselves in full view
of all Foochow had it been awake at that hour.
The week of packing
and repacking that followed was made easy for us by Claude Kellogg,
who acted as our ministering angel. I think there must be a special
Providence that watches over wandering naturalists and directs
them to such men as Kellogg, for without divine aid they could
never be found. When we last saw him, he stood on the stone steps
of the water front waving his hat as we slipped away on the tide,
to board the S. S. Haitan for Hong Kong.
THE WOMEN OF CHINA
Y. B. A.
The schools for native
girls at Foochow and Yen-ping interested us greatly, even when
we first came to China, but we could not appreciate then as we
did later the epoch-making step toward civilization of these institutions.
How much the missionaries
are able to accomplish from a religious standpoint is a question
which we do not wish to discuss, but no one who has ever lived
among them can deny that the opening of schools and the diffusing
of western knowledge are potent factors in the development of
the people. The Chinese were not slow even in the beginning to
see the advantages of a foreign education for their boys and now,
along the coast at least, some are beginning to make sacrifices
for their daughters as well. The Woman's College, which was opened
recently in Foochow, is one of the finest buildings of the Republic,
and when one sees its bright-faced girls dressed in their quaint
little pajama-like garments, it is difficult to realize that outside
such schools they are still slaves in mind and body to those iron
rules of Confucius which have molded the entire structure of Chinese
society for over 2400 years.
The position of women
in China today, and the rules which govern the household of every
orthodox Chinese, are the direct heritage
of Confucianism. The following translation by Professor J. Legge
from the Narratives of the Confucian School, chapter 26,
"Man is the representative of heaven and is supreme over all
things. Woman yields obedience to the instructions of man and
helps to carry out his principles. On this account she can determine
nothing of herself and is subject to the rule of the three obediences.
"(1) When young
she must obey her father and her elder brother;
"(2) When married,
she must obey her husband;
"(3) When her husband
is dead she must obey her son.
"She may not think
of marrying a second time. No instructions or orders must issue
from the harem. Women's business is simply the preparation and
supplying of drink and food. Beyond the threshold of her apartments
she shall not be known for evil or for good. She may not cross
the boundaries of a state to attend a funeral. She may take
no steps on her own motive and may come to no conclusion on
her own deliberation."
The grounds for
divorce as stated by Confucius are:
to her husband's parents;
"(2) Not giving
birth to a son;
"(3) Dissolute conduct;
"(4) Jealousy of
her husband's attentions (to the other inmates at his harem);
A Chinese bride owes
implicit obedience to her mother-in-law, and as she is often reared
by her husband's family, or else married to him as a mere child,
and is under the complete control of his
mother for a considerable period of her existence, her life in
many instances is one of intolerable misery. There is generally
little or no consideration for a girl under the best of circumstances
until she becomes the mother of a male child; her condition then
improves but she approaches happiness only when she in turn occupies
the enviable position of mother-in-law.
It is difficult to
imagine a life of greater dreariness and vacuity than that of
the average Chinese woman. Owing to her bound feet and resultant
helplessness, if she is not obliged to work she rarely stirs from
the narrow confinement of her courtyard, and perhaps in her entire
life she may not go a mile from the house to which she was brought
a bride, except for the periodical visits to her father's home.
It has been aptly
said that there are no real homes in China and it is not surprising
that, ignored and despised for centuries, the Chinese woman shows
no ability to improve the squalor of her surroundings. She passes
her life in a dark, smoke-filled dwelling with broken furniture
and a mud floor, together with pigs, chickens and babies enjoying
a limited sphere of action under the tables and chairs, or in
the tumble-down courtyard without. Her work is actually never
done and a Chinese bride, bright and attractive at twenty, will
be old and faded at thirty.
But without doubt
the crowning evil which attends woman's condition in China is
foot binding, and nothing can be offered in extenuation of this
abominable custom. It is said to have originated one thousand
years before the Christian era and has persisted until the present
day in spite of the efforts directed against it. The
Empress Dowager issued edicts strongly advising its discontinuation,
the "Natural Foot Society," which was formed about fifteen years
ago, has endeavored to educate public opinion, and the missionaries
refuse to admit girls so mutilated to their schools; but nevertheless
the reform has made little progress beyond the coast cities. "Precedent"
and the fear of not obtaining suitable husbands for their daughters
are responsible for the continuation of the evil, and it is estimated
that there are still about seventy-four millions of girls and
women who are crippled in this way.
The feet are bandaged
between the ages of five and seven. The toes are bent under the
sole of the foot and after two or three years the heel and instep
are so forced together that a dollar can be placed in the cleft;
gradually also the lower limbs shrink away until only the bones
The suffering of the
children is intense. We often passed through streets full of laughing
boys and tiny girls where others, a few years older, were sitting
on the doorsteps or curbstones holding their tortured feet and
crying bitterly. In some instances outhouses are constructed a
considerable distance from the family dwelling where the girls
must sleep during their first crippled years in order that their
moans may not disturb the other members of the family. The child's
only relief is to hang her feet over the edge of the bed in order
to stop the circulation and induce numbness, or to seek oblivion
If the custom were
a fad which affected only the wealthy classes it would be reprehensible
enough, but it curses rich and poor alike, and almost every day
we saw heavily laden coolie women steadying themselves
by means of a staff, hobbling stiff-kneed along the roads or laboring
in the fields.
Although the agitation
against foot binding is undoubtedly making itself felt to a certain
extent in the coast provinces, in Yün-nan the horrible practice
continues unabated. During the year in which we traveled through
a large part of the province, wherever there were Chinese we saw
bound feet. And the fact that virtually every girl over
eight years old was mutilated in this way is satisfactory evidence
that reform ideas have not penetrated to this remote part of the
I know of nothing
which so rouses one's indignation because of its senselessness
and brutality, and China can never hope to take her place among
civilized nations until she has abandoned this barbarous custom
and liberated her women from their infamous subjection.
There has been much
criticism of foreign education because the girls who have had
its advantages absorb western ideas so completely that they dislike
to return to their homes where the ordinary conditions of a Chinese
household exist. Nevertheless, if the women of China are ever
to be emancipated it must come through their own education as
well as that of the men.
One of the first results
of foreign influence is to delay marriage, and in some instances
the early betrothal with its attendant miseries. The evil which
results from this custom can hardly be overestimated. It happens
not infrequently that two children are betrothed in infancy, the
respective families being in like circumstances at the time. The
opportunity perhaps is offered to the girl to attend school and
she may even go through college, but an inexorable custom brings
her back to her parents' home, forces her to submit to the engagement
made in babyhood and perhaps ruins her life
through marriage with a man of no higher social status or intelligence
than a coolie.
Among the few girls
imbued with western civilization a spirit of revolt is slowly
growing, and while it is impossible for them to break down the
barriers of ages, yet in many instances they waive aside what
would seem an unsurmountable precedent and insist upon having
some voice in the choosing of their husbands.
While in Yen-ping
we were invited to attend the semi-foreign wedding of a girl who
had been brought up in the Woman's School and who was qualified
to be a "Bible Woman" or native Christian teacher. It was whispered
that she had actually met her betrothed on several occasions,
but on their wedding day no trace of recognition was visible,
and the marriage was performed with all the punctilious Chinese
observances compatible with a Christian ceremony.
of this little bride, although she might have been radiantly happy
at heart, and undoubtedly was, to appear tearful and shrinking
and as she was escorted up the aisle by her bridesmaid one might
have thought she was being led to slaughter. White is not becoming
to the Chinese and besides it is a sign of mourning, so she had
chosen pink for her wedding gown and had a brilliant pink veil
over her carefully oiled hair.
After the ceremony
the bride and bridegroom proceeded downstairs to the joyous strain
of the wedding march, but with nothing joyous in their demeanorin
fact they appeared like two wooden images at the reception and
endured for over an hour the stares and loud criticism of the
guests. He assumed during the ordeal a look of bored indifference
while the little bride sat with her head
bowed on her breast, apparently terror stricken. But once she
raised her face and I saw a merry twinkle in her shining black
eyes that made me realize that perhaps it wasn't all quite so
frightful as she would have us believe. I often wonder what sort
of a life she is leading in her far away Chinese courtyard.
VOYAGING TO YÜN-NAN
We had a busy week
in Hong Kong outfitting for our trip to Yün-nan. Hong Kong is
one of the best cities in the Orient in which to purchase supplies
of almost any kind, for not only is the selection excellent, but
the best English goods can be had for prices very little in excess
of those in London itself.
The system which we
used in our commissary was that of the unit food box which has
been adopted by most large expeditions. The boxes were packed
to weigh seventy pounds each and contained all the necessary staple
supplies for three persons for one week; thus only one box needed
to be opened at a time, and, moreover, if the party separated
for a few days a single box could be taken without the necessity
of repacking and with the assurance that sufficient food would
Our supplies consisted
largely of flour, butter, sugar, coffee, milk, bacon, and marmalade,
and but little tinned meat, vegetables, or fruit because we were
certain to be able to obtain a plentiful supply of such food in
the country through which we were expecting to travel.
Our tents were brought
from New York and were made of light Egyptian cotton thoroughly
waterproof, but we also purchased in Hong Kong a large army tent
for the servants and two canvas flies to protect loads and specimens.
We used sleeping bags and folding cots, tables and chairs, for
when an expedition expects to remain in
the field for a long time it is absolutely necessary to be as
comfortable as possible and to live well; otherwise one cannot
work at one's highest efficiency.
For clothing we all
wore khaki or "Dux-back" suits with flannel shirts and high leather
shoes for mountain climbing, and we had light rubber automobile
shirts and rubber caps for use in rainy weather. The auto shirt
is a long, loose robe which slips over the head and fastens about
the neck and, when one is sitting upon a horse, can be so spread
about as to cover all exposed parts of the body; it is especially
useful and necessary, and hip rubber boots are also very comfortable
during the rainy season.
Our traps for catching
small mammals were brought from New York. We had two sizes of
wooden "Out of Sight" for mice and rats, and four or five sizes
of Oneida steel traps for catching medium sized animals such as
civets and polecats. We also carried a half dozen No. 5 wolf traps.
Mr. Heller had used this size in Africa and found that they were
large enough even to hold lions.
Mr. Heller carried
a 250-300 Savage rifle, while I used a 6-1/2 mm. Mannlicher and
a .405 Winchester. All of these guns were eminently satisfactory,
but the choice of a rifle is a very personal matter and every
sportsman has his favorite weapon. We found, however, that a flat
trajectory high-power rifle such as those with which we were armed
was absolutely essential for many of our shots were at long range
and we frequently killed gorals at three hundred yards or over.
The camera equipment
consisted of two 3A Kodaks, a Graphic 4 × 5 tripod
camera, and Graflex 4 × 5 for rapid work. We have
found after considerable field experience
that the 4 × 5 is the most convenient size to
handle, for the plate is large enough and can be obtained more
readily than any other in different parts of the world. The same
applies to the 3A Kodak "postcard" size film, for there are few
places where foreign goods are carried that 3A films cannot be
All of our plates
and films were sealed in airtight tin boxes before we left America,
and thus the material was in perfect condition when the cans were
opened. We used plates almost altogether in the finer photographic
work, for although they are heavier and more difficult to handle
than films, nevertheless the results obtained are very superior.
A collapsible rubber dark room about seven feet high and four
feet in diameter was an indispensable part of the camera equipment.
This tent was made for us by the Abercrombie & Fitch Company,
of New York, and could be hung from the limb of a tree or the
rafters of a building and be ready for use in five minutes.
The motion pictures
were taken with a Universal camera, and like all other negatives
were developed in the field by means of a special apparatus which
had been designed by Mr. Carl Akeley of the American Museum of
Natural History. This work required a much larger space than that
of the portable dark room and we consequently had a tent made
of red cloth which could be tied inside of our ordinary sleeping
Our equipment was
packed in fiber army trunks and in wooden boxes with sliding tops.
The latter arrangement is especially desirable in Yün-nan, for
the loads can be opened without being untied from the saddle,
thus saving a considerable amount of time and trouble.
It was by no means
an easy matter to get our supplies together,
but the Lane & Crawford Company of Hong Kong pushed the making
and packing of our boxes in a remarkably efficient manner; as
the manager of one of their departments expressed it, "the one
way to hurry a Chinaman is to get more Chinamen," and they put
a small army at work upon our material, which was ready for shipment
in just a week.
While in Hong Kong
we were joined by Wu Hung-tao, of Shanghai, who acted as interpreter
and "head boy" as well as a general field manager of the expedition.
He formerly had been in the employ of Mr. F. W. Gary, when the
latter was Commissioner of Customs in Teng-yueh, Yün-nan, and
he was educated at the Anglo-Chinese College of Foochow. Wu proved
to be the most efficient and trustworthy servant whom we have
ever employed, and the success of our work was due in no small
degree to his efforts.
We left for Tonking
on the S. S. Sung-kiang, commanded by Harry Trowbridge,
a congenial and well-read gentleman whose delightful personality
contributed much toward making our week's stay on his ship most
pleasant. On our way to Haiphong the vessel stopped at the island
of Hainan and anchored about three miles off the town of Hoi-hau.
This island is 90 by 150 miles long, is mountainous in its center,
but flat and uninteresting at the northwest.
A large part of the
island is unexplored and in the interior there is a mountain called
"the Five Fingers" which has never been ascended, for it is reported
that the hill tribes are unfriendly and that the tropical valleys
are reeking with deadly malaria. The island undoubtedly would
prove to be a rich field for zoölogical work as is shown by the
collections which the American Museum of
Natural History has already received from a native dealer; these
include monkeys, squirrels, and other small mammals, and bears,
leopards, and deer are said to be among its fauna.
The next night's steaming
brought us to the city of Paik-hoi on the mainland. In the afternoon
we went ashore with Captain Trowbridge to visit Dr. Bradley of
the China Inland Mission who is in charge of a leper hospital,
which is a model of its kind. The doctor was away but we made
ourselves at home and when he returned he found us in his drawing
room comfortably enjoying afternoon tea. He remarked that he knew
of a Chinese cook who was looking for a position, and half an
hour later, while we were watching some remarkably fine tennis,
the cook arrived. He was about six feet two inches high, and so
thin that he was immediately christened the "Woolworth Building"
and, although not a very prepossessing looking individual he was
forthwith engaged, principally because of his ability to speak
English. This was at six o'clock in the afternoon and we had to
be aboard the ship at eight. The doctor sent a note to the French
Consul and the cook returned anon with his baggage and passport.
Obtaining this cook was the only really rapid thing which I have
ever seen done in China!
When the Sung-kiang
arrived in Haiphong the next afternoon we were besieged by a screaming,
fighting mob of Annamits who seized upon our baggage like so many
vultures, and it was only by means of a few well-directed kicks
that we could prevent it from being scattered to the four winds
of Heaven. After we had designated a sampan to receive
our equipment the unloading began and several trunks had gone
over the side, when Mr. Heller happened
to glance down just in time to see one of the ammunition boxes
drop into the water and sink like lead. The Annamits, believing
that it had not been noticed, went on as blithely as before and
volubly denied that anything had been lost. We stopped the unloading
instantly and sent for divers. The box had sunk in thirty feet
of muddy water and it seemed useless to hope that it could ever
be recovered, but the divers went to work by dropping a heavy
stone on the end of a rope and going down it hand over hand.
After two hours the
box was located and brought dripping to the surface. Fortunately
but little of the ammunition was ruined, and most of it was dried
during the night in the engine room. Because of this delay we
had to leave Haiphong on the following day, and with Captain Trowbridge,
we went by train to Hanoi, the capital of the colony.
Hanoi is a city of
delightful surprises. It has broad, clean streets, overhung with
trees which often form a cool green canopy overhead, beautiful
lawns and well-kept houses, and in the center of the town is a
lovely lake surrounded by a wide border of palms. At the far end,
like a jewel in a crystal setting, seems to float a white pagoda,
an outpost of the temple which stands in the midst of a watery
meadow of lotus plants. The city shops are excellent, but in most
instances the prices are exceedingly high.
Like all the French
towns in the Orient the hours for work are rather confusing to
the foreigner. The shops open at 6:30 in the morning and close
at 11 o'clock to reopen again at 3 in the afternoon and continue
business until 7:30 or 8 o'clock in the evening. During the middle
of the day all houses have the shutters closely drawn,
and because of the intense heat and glare of the sun the streets
are absolutely deserted, not even a native being visible. In the
morning a petit déjeuner, remarkable especially for its
"petiteness," is served, and a real déjeuner comes later
anywhere from 10 to 12:30.
About 6 o'clock in
the evening the open cafés and restaurants along the sidewalk
are lined with groups of men and women playing cards and dice
and drinking gin and bitters, vermouth or absinthe. There is an
air of happiness and life about Hanoi which is typically Parisian
and even during war time it is a city of gayety. An immense theater
stands in the center of the town, but has not been opened since
the beginning of the war.
We had letters to
M. Chemein Dupontés, the director of the railroads, as well as
to the Lieutenant-Governor and other officials. Without exception
we were received in the most cordial manner and every facility
and convenience put at our disposal. M. Dupontés was especially
Some time before our
arrival a tunnel on the railroad from Hanoi to Yün-nan Fu had
caved in and for almost a month trains had not been running. It
was now in operation, however, but all luggage had to be transferred
by hand at the broken tunnel and consequently must not exceed
eighty-five pounds in weight. This meant repacking our entire
equipment and three days of hard work. M. Dupontés arranged to
have our 4000 pounds of baggage put in a special third class carriage
with our "boys" in attendance and in this way saved the expedition
a considerable amount of money. He personally went with us to
the station to arrange for our comfort with the chef de gare,
telegraphed ahead at every station upon
the railroad, and gave us an open letter to all officials; in
fact there was nothing which he left undone.
The railroad is a
remarkable engineering achievement for it was constructed in great
haste through a difficult mountainous range. Yün-nan is an exceedingly
rich province and the French were quick to see the advantages
of drawing its vast trade to their own seaports. The British were
already making surveys to construct a railroad from Bhamo on the
headwaters of the Irawadi River across Yün-nan to connect with
the Yangtze, and the French were anxious to have their road in
operation some time before the rival line could be completed.
Owing to its hasty
construction and the heavy rainfall, or perhaps to both, the tunnels
and bridges frequently cave in or are washed away and the railroad
is chiefly remarkable for the number of days in the year in which
it does not operate; nevertheless the French deserve great credit
for their enterprise in extending their line to Yün-nan Fu over
the mountains where there is a tunnel or bridge almost every mile
of the way. While it was being built through the fever-stricken
jungles of Tonking the coolies died like flies, and it was necessary
to suspend all work during the summer months.
The scenery along
the railroad is marvelous and the traveling is by no means uncomfortable,
but the hotels in which one stops at night are wretched. One of
our friends in Hong Kong related an amusing experience which he
had at Lao-kay, the first hotel on the railroad. He asked for
a bath and discovered that a tub of hot water had been prepared.
He wished a cold bath, and seeing a large tank filled with cold
water in the corner of the room he climbed in and was enjoying
himself when the hotel proprietor suddenly rushed upstairs exclaiming,
"Mon Dieu, Mon Dieu, you are in the tank
of drinking water."
When we arrived at
Yün-nan Fu we found a surprisingly cosmopolitan community housed
within its grim old walls; some were consuls, some missionaries,
some salt, telegraph, or customs officials in the Chinese employ,
and others represented business firms in Hong Kong , but all received
us with open handed hospitality characteristic of the East.
We thought that after
leaving Hong Kong our evening clothes would not again be used,
but they were requisitioned every night for we were guests at
dinners given by almost everyone of the foreign community. Mr.
Howard Page, a representative of the Standard Oil Company, proved
a most valuable friend, and through him we were able to obtain
a caravan and make other arrangements for the transportation of
our baggage. M. Henry Wilden, the French Consul, an ardent sportsman
and a charming gentleman, took an active interest in our affairs
and arranged a meeting for us with the Chinese Commissioner of
Foreign Affairs. Moreover, he later transported our trunks to
Hong Kong with his personal baggage and assisted us in every possible
We went to the Foreign
Office at half past ten and were ushered into a large room where
a rather imposing lunch had already been spread. The Commissioner,
a fat, jolly little man, who knew a few words of French but none
of English, received us in the most cordial way and immediately
opened several bottles of champagne in our honor. He asked why
our passports had not been visaed in Peking, and we pleased him
greatly by replying that at the time we were in the capital Yün-nan
was an independent province and consequently the Peking Government
had not the temerity to put their stamp
upon our passports.
Inasmuch as Yün-nan
was infested with brigands we had expected some opposition to
our plans for traveling in the interior, but none was forthcoming,
and with the exception of an offer of a guard of soldiers for
our trip to Ta-li Fu which we knew it would be impolitic to refuse,
we left the Foreign Office with all the desired permits.
The Chinese Government
appeared to be greatly interested in our zoölogical study of Yün-nan,
offered to assist us in every way we could suggest, and telegraphed
to every mandarin in the north and west of the province, instructing
them to receive us with all honor and to facilitate our work in
every way. None of the opposition which we had been led to expect
developed, and it is difficult to see how we could have been more
ON THE ROAD TO TA-LI
On August 6, we dispatched
half our equipment to Ta-li Fu, and three days later we ourselves
left Yün-nan Fu at eleven o'clock in the morning after an interminable
wait for our caravan. Through the kindness of Mr. Page, a house
boat was put at our disposal and we sailed across the upper end
of the beautiful lake which lies just outside the city, and intercepted
the caravan twenty-five li [Footnote: A li in this
province equals one-third of an English mile.] from Yün-nan Fu.
On the way we passed
a number of cormorant fishers, each with ten or a dozen birds
sitting quietly upon the boat with outspread wings drying their
feathers. Every bird has a ring about its neck, and is thus prevented
from swallowing the fish which it catches by diving into the water.
After waiting an hour
for our caravan we saw the long train of mules and horses winding
up the hill toward us. There were seventeen altogether, and in
the midst of them rode the cook clinging desperately with both
hands to a diminutive mule, his long legs dangling and a look
of utter wretchedness upon his face. Just before the caravan reached
us it began to rain, and the cook laboriously pulled on a suit
of yellow oilskins which we had purchased for him in Yün-nan Fu.
These, together with a huge yellow hat, completed
a picture which made us roar with laughter; Heller gave the caption
for it when he shouted, "Here comes the 'Yellow Peril.'"
We surveyed the tiny
horses with dismay. As Heller vainly tried to get his girth tight
enough to keep the saddle from sliding over the animal's tail
he exclaimed, "Is this a horse or a squirrel I'm trying to ride?"
But it was not so bad when we finally climbed aboard and found
that we did not crush the little brutes.
A seventy-pound box
on each side of the saddle with a few odds and ends on top made
a pack of at least one hundred and sixty pounds. This is heavy
even for a large animal and for these tiny mules seemed an impossibility,
but it is the usual weight, and the businesslike way in which
they moved off showed that they were not overloaded.
The Yün-nan pack saddle
is a remarkably ingenious arrangement. The load is strapped with
a rawhide to a double A-shaped frame which fits loosely over a
second saddle on the animal's back and is held in place by its
own weight. If a mule falls the pack comes off and, moreover,
it can be easily removed if the road is bad or whenever a stop
is made. It has the great disadvantage, however, of giving the
horses serious back sores which receive but scanty attention from
the mafus (muleteers).
When we were fairly
started upon our long ride to Ta-li Fu the time slipped by in
a succession of delightful days. Since this was the main caravan
route the mafus had regular stages beyond which they would
not go. If we did not stop for luncheon the march could be ended
early in the afternoon and we could settle ourselves for the night
in a temple which always proved a veritable
"haven of rest" after a long day in the saddle. A few pages from
my wife's "Journal" of September fifteenth describes our camp
at Lu-ho-we and our life on the road to Ta-li Fu.
We are sitting on
the porch of an old, old temple. It is on a hilltop in a forest
grove with the gray-walled town lying at our feet. The sun is
flooding the flower-filled courtyard and throwing bars of golden
light through the twisted branches of a bent old pine, over
the stone well, and into the dim recesses behind the altar where
a benevolent idol grins down upon us.
We have been in
the saddle for eight hours and it is enchanting to rest in this
peaceful, aged temple. Outside children are shouting and laughing
but all is quiet here save for the drip of water in the well,
and the chatter of a magpie on the pine tree. Today we made
the stage in one long march and now we can rest and browse among
our books or wander with a gun along the cool, tree-shaded paths.
The sun is hot at
midday, although the mornings and evenings are cold, and tonight
we shall build a fragrant fire of yellow pine, and talk for
an hour before we go to sleep upon the porch where we can see
the moon come up and the stars shining so low that they seem
like tiny lanterns in the sky.
It is seven days
since we left Yün-nan Fu and each night we have come to temples
such as this. There is an inexpressible charm about them, lying
asleep, as it were, among the trees of their courtyards, with
stately, pillared porches, and picturesque gables upturned to
the sky. They seem so very, very old and filled with such great
calm and peace.
Sometimes they stand
in the midst of a populous town and we ride through long streets
between dirty houses, swarming with ragged women, filthy men,
and screaming children; suddenly we come to the dilapidated
entrance of our temple, pass through a courtyard, close the
huge gates and are in another world.
We leave early every
morning and the boys are up long before dawn. As we sleepily
open our eyes we see their dark figures silhouetted against
the brilliant camp fire, hear the yawns of the mafus
and the contented crunching of the mules as they chew their
Wu appears with
a lantern and calls out the hour and before we have fully dressed
the odor of coffee has found its way to the remotest corner
of the temple, and a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and oatmeal
is awaiting on the folding table spread with a clean white cloth.
While we are eating, the beds are packed, and the loads retied,
accompanied by a running fire of exhortations to the mafus
who cause us endless trouble.
They are a hard
lot, these mafus. Force seems to be the only thing they
understand and kindness produces no results. If the march is
long and we stop for tiffin it is well-nigh impossible to get
them started within three hours without the aid of threats.
Once after a long halt when all seemed ready, we rode ahead
only to wait by the roadside for hours before the caravan arrived.
As soon as we were out of sight they had begun to shoe their
mules and that night we did not make our stage until long after
In the morning when
we see the first loads actually on the horses we ride off at
the head of the caravan followed by a straggling line of mules
and horses picking their way over the jagged stones of the road.
It is delightful in the early morning for the air is fresh and
brisk like that of October at home, but later in the day when
the sun is higher it is uncomfortably hot, and we are glad to
find a bit of shade where we can rest until the caravan arrives.
The roads are execrable.
The Chinese have a proverb which says: "A road is good for ten
years and bad for ten thousand," and this applies most excellently
to those of Yün-nan. The main caravan highways are paved with
huge stones to make them passable during the rainy season, but
after a few years' wear the blocks become
broken and irregular, the earth is washed from between them
and they are upturned at impossible angles. The result is a
chaotic mass which by no stretch of imagination can be called
a road. Where the stones are still in place they have been worn
to such glasslike smoothness by the thousands of passing mules
that it is well-nigh impossible to walk upon them. As a result
a caravan avoids the paving whenever it can find a path and
sometimes dozens of deeply-cut trails wind over the hills beside
We are seldom on
level ground, for ten per cent of the entire province is mountainous
and we soon lost count of the ranges which we crossed. It is
slow, hard work, toiling up the steep mountainsides, but once
on the ridges where the country is spread out below us like
a great, green relief map, there is a wonderful exhilaration,
and we climb higher with a joyous sense of freedom.
Yün-nan means "south
of the cloud" and every morning the peaks about us are shrouded
in fog. Sometimes the veil-like mists still float about the
mountain tops when we climb into them, and we are suddenly enveloped
in a wet gray blanket which sends us shivering into the coats
tied to our saddles.
For centuries this
road has been one of the main trade arteries through the province,
and with the total lack of conservation ideas so characteristic
of the Chinese, every available bit of natural forest has been
cut away. As a result the mountains are desert wastes of sandstone
alternating with grass-covered hills sometimes clothed with groves
of pines or spruces. These trees have all been planted, and ere
they have reached a height of fifteen or twenty feet will yield
to the insistent demand for wood which is ever present with the
The ignorance of the
need of forest conservation is an illuminating commentary on Chinese
education. Mr. William Hanna, a missionary
of Ta-li Fu, told us that one day he was riding over this same
road with a Chinese gentleman, a deep scholar, who was considered
one of the best educated men of the province. Pointing to the
barren hills washed clean of soil and deeply worn by countless
floods, Mr. Hanna remarked that all this could have been prevented,
and that instead of a rocky waste there might have been a fertile
hillside, had the trees been left to grow.
The Chinese scholar
listened in amazement to facts which every western schoolboy has
learned ere he is twelve years old, but of which he was ignorant
because they are not a part of Confucius' teachings. To study
modern science is considered a waste of time by the orthodox Chinese
for "everything good must be old," and all his life he delves
into the past utterly neglectful of the present.
Every valley along
the road was green with rice fields and this, together with the
deforestation of the mountains, is responsible for the almost
total lack of animal life. Night after night we set traps about
our temple camps only to find them untouched in the morning. There
were no mammals with the exception of a few red-bellied squirrels
(Callosciurus erythraeus sub sp.) and now and then a tree
shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis).
The latter is an interesting
species. Although it is an Insectivore, and a relative of the
tiny shrews which live in holes and under logs, it has squirrel-like
habits and in appearance is like a squirrel to which it is totally
unrelated. Instead of the thinly haired mouse-like tails of the
ordinary shrews the tupaias have developed long bushy tails and
in fact look and act so much like squirrels
that it is difficult to convince the white residents of Yün-nan,
who are accustomed to see them run about the hedges and walls
of their courtyards that the two are quite unrelated.
The tree shrews are
found only in Asia and are one of the most remarkable instances
of a superficial resemblance between unrelated animals with similar
habits. A study of their anatomy has revealed the fact that they
represent a distinct group which is connected with the monkeys
Although birds were
fairly abundant the species were not varied. We were about a month
too early for the ducks and geese, which during the winter swarm
into Yün-nan from the north, and without a dog, pheasants are
difficult to get. In fact we were greatly disappointed in the
game birds, for we had expected good pheasant shooting even along
the road and virtually none were to be found.
The main caravan roads
of Yün-nan held little of interest for us as naturalists, but
as students of native customs they were fascinating, for the life
of the province passed before us in panoramic completeness. Chinese
villages wherever we have seen them are marvels of utter and abandoned
filth and although those of Yün-nan are no exception to the rule,
they are considerably better than the coast cities.
Pigs, chickens, horses
and cows live in happy communion with the human inmates of the
houses, the pigs especially being treated as we favor dogs at
home. On the door steps children play with the swine, patting
and pounding them, and one of my friends said that he had actually
seen a mother bring her baby to be nursed by a sow with her family
The natives were pleasant
and friendly and seemed to be industrious. Wherever the deforestation
had left sufficient soil on the lower hillsides patches of corn
took the place of the former poppy fields for opium. In 1906,
the Empress Dowager issued an edict prohibiting the growing of
opium, and gave guarantees to the British that it would be entirely
stamped out during the next ten years. Strangely enough these
promises have been faithfully kept, and in Yün-nan the hillsides,
which were once white with poppy blossoms, are now yellow with
corn. In all our 2000 miles of riding over unfrequented trails
and in the most out-of-the-way spots we found only one instance
where opium was being cultivated.
The mandarin of each
district accompanied by a guard of soldiers makes periodical excursions
during the seasons when the poppy is in blossom, cuts down the
plants if any are found, and punishes the owners. China deserves
the greatest credit for so successfully dealing with a question
which affects such a large part of her four hundred millions of
people and which presents such unusual difficulties because of
its economic importance.
Just across the frontier
in Burma, opium is grown freely and much is smuggled into Yün-nan.
Therefore its use has by no means been abandoned, especially in
the south of the province, and in some towns it is smoked openly
in the tea houses. In August, 1916, just before we reached Yün-nan
Fu there was an exposé of opium smuggling which throws
an illuminating side light on the corruption of some Chinese officials.
Opium can be purchased
in Yün-nan Fu for two dollars (Mexican) an ounce, while in Shanghai
it is worth ten dollars (Mexican). Tang
(the Military Governor), the Minister of Justice, the Governor's
brother and three members of Parliament had collected six hundred
pounds of opium which they undertook to transfer to Shanghai.
Their request that
no examination of their baggage be made by the French during their
passage through Tonking was granted, and a similar favor was procured
for them at Shanghai. Thus the sixty cases were safely landed,
but a few hours later, through the opium combine, foreign detectives
learned of the smuggling and the boxes were seized.
The Minister of Justice
denied all knowledge of the opium, as did the three Parliament
members, and Governor Tang was not interrogated as that would
be quite contrary to the laws of Chinese etiquette; however, he
will not receive reappointment when his official term expires.
As we neared Ta-li
Fu, and indeed along the entire road, we were amazed at the prevalence
of goitre. At a conservative estimate two out of every five persons
were suffering from the disease, some having two, or even three,
globules of uneven size hanging from their throats. In one village
six out of seven adults were affected, but apparently children
under twelve or fourteen years are free from it as we saw no evidences
in either sex. Probably the disease is in a large measure due
to the drinking water, for it is most prevalent in the limestone
regions and seems to be somewhat localized.
Every day we passed
"chairs," or as we named them, "mountain schooners," in each of
which a fat Chinaman sprawled while two or four sweating coolies
bore him up hill. The chair is rigged between a pair of long bamboo
poles and consists of two sticks swung by
ropes on which is piled a heap of bedding. Overhead a light bamboo
frame supports a piece of yellow oilcloth, which completely shuts
in the occupant, except from the front and rear.
The Chinese consider
it undignified to walk, or even to ride, and if one is about to
make an official visit nothing less than a four-man chair is required.
Haste is just as much tabooed in the "front families" as physical
exertion, and is utterly incomprehensible to the Chinese. Major
Davies says that while he was in Tonking before the railroad to
Yün-nan Fu had been constructed, M. Doumer, the Governor-General
of French Indo-China, who was a very energetic man, rode to Yün-nan
Fu in an extraordinarily short time. While the Europeans greatly
admired his feat, the Chinese believed he must be in some difficulty
from which only the immediate assistance of the Viceroy of Yün-nan
could extricate him.
In Yün-nan it is necessary
to carry one's own bedding for the inns supply nothing but food,
and consequently when a Chinaman rides from one city to another
he piles a great heap of blankets on his horse's back and climbs
on top with his legs astride the animal's neck in front. The horses
are trained to a rapid trot instead of a gallop, and I know of
no more ridiculous sight than a Chinaman bouncing along a road
on the summit of a veritable mountain of bedding with his arms
waving and streamers flying in every direction. He is assisted
in keeping his balance by broad brass stirrups in which he usually
hooks his heels and guides his horse by means of a rawhide bridle
decorated with dozens of bangles which make a comforting jingle
whenever he moves.
On the sixth day out
when approaching the city of Chu-hsuing
Fu we took a short cut through the fields leaving the caravan
to follow the main road. The trail brought us to a river about
forty feet wide spanned by a bridge made from two narrow planks,
with a wide median fissure. We led our horses across without trouble
and Heller started to follow. He had reached the center of the
bridge when his horse shied at the hole, jumped to one side, hung
suspended on his belly for a moment, and toppled off into the
The performance had
all happened behind Heller's back and when he turned about in
time to see his horse diving into the river, he stood looking
down at him with a most ludicrous expression of surprise and disgust,
while the animal climbed out and began to graze as quietly as
though nothing had happened.
Chu-hsuing was interesting
as being the home of Miss Cordelia Morgan, a niece of Senator
Morgan of Virginia. We found her to be a most charming and determined
young woman who had established a mission station in the city
under considerable difficulties. The mandarin and other officials
by no means wished to have a foreign lady, alone and unattended,
settle down among them and become a responsibility which might
cause them endless trouble, and although she had rented a house
before she arrived, the owner refused to allow her to move in.
She could get no assistance
from the mandarin and was forced to live for two months in a dirty
Chinese inn, swarming with vermin, until they realized that she
was determined not to be driven away. She eventually obtained
a house and while she considers herself comfortable, I doubt if
others would care to share her life unless
they had an equal amount of determination and enthusiasm.
At that time she had
not placed her work under the charge of a mission board and was
carrying it on independently. Until our arrival she had seen but
one white person in a year and a half, was living entirely upon
Chinese food, and had tasted no butter or milk in months.
We had a delightful
dinner with Miss Morgan and the next morning as our caravan wound
down the long hill past her house she stood at the window to wave
good-by. She kept her head behind the curtains, and doubtless
if we could have seen her face we would have found tears upon
it, for the evening with another woman of her kind had brought
to her a breath of the old life which she had resolutely forsaken
and which so seldom penetrated to her self-appointed exile.
On our ninth day from
Yün-nan Fu we had a welcome bit of excitement. We were climbing
a long mountain trail to a pass over eight thousand feet high
and were near the summit when a boy dashed breathlessly up to
the caravan, jabbering wildly in Chinese. It required fifteen
minutes of questioning before we finally learned that bandits
had attacked a big caravan less than a mile ahead of us and were
even then ransacking the loads.
He said that there
were two hundred and fifty of them and that they had killed two
mafus; almost immediately a second gesticulating Chinaman
appeared and gave the number as three hundred and fifty and the
dead as five. Allowing for the universal habit of exaggeration
we felt quite sure that there were not more than fifty, and subsequently
learned that forty was the correct number and that no one had
Our caravan was in
a bad place to resist an attack but we got
out our rifles and made for a village at the top of the pass.
There were not more than a half dozen mud houses and in the narrow
street between them perfect bedlam reigned. Several small caravans
had halted to wait for us, and men, horses, loads, and chairs
were packed and jammed together so tightly that it seemed impossible
ever to extricate them. Our arrival added to the confusion, but
leaving the mafus to scream and chatter among themselves,
we scouted ahead to learn the true condition of affairs.
Almost within sight
we found the caravan which had been robbed. Paper and cloth were
strewn about, loads overturned, and loose mules wandered over
the hillside. The frightened mafus were straggling back
and told us that about forty bandits had suddenly surrounded the
caravan, shooting and brandishing long knives. Instantly the mafus
had run for their lives leaving the brigands to rifle the packs
unmolested. The goods chiefly belonged to the retiring mandarin
of Li-chiang, and included some five thousand dollars worth of
jade and gold dust, all of which was taken.
Yün-nan, like most
of the outlying provinces of China, is infested with brigands
who make traveling very unsafe. There are, of course, organized
bands of robbers at all times, but these have been greatly augmented
since the rebellion by dismissed soldiers or deserters who have
taken to brigandage as the easiest means to avoid starvation.
The Chinese Government
is totally unable to cope with the situation and makes only half-hearted
attempts to punish even the most flagrant robberies, so that unguarded
caravans carrying valuable material which arrive
at their destination unmolested consider themselves very lucky.
So far as our expedition
was concerned we did not feel great apprehension for it was generally
known that we carried but little money and our equipment, except
for guns, could not readily be disposed of. Throughout the entire
expedition we paid our mafus and servants a part of their
wages in advance when they were engaged, and arranged to have
money sent by the mandarins or the British American Tobacco Co.,
to some large town which would be reached after several months.
There the balance on salaries was paid and we carried with us
only enough money for our daily needs.
Before we left Yün-nan
Fu we were assured by the Foreign Office that we would be furnished
with a guard of soldiersan honor few foreigners escape!
The first day out we had four, all armed with umbrellas! These
accompanied us to the first camp where they delivered their official
message to the yamen and entrusted us to the care of others
for our next day's journey.
Sometimes they were
equipped with guns of the vintage of 1872, but their cartridges
were seldom of the same caliber as the rifles and in most cases
the ubiquitous umbrella was their only weapon. Just what good
they would be in a real attack it is difficult to imagine, except
to divert attention by breaking the speed limits in running away.
Several times in the
morning we believed we had escaped them but they always turned
up in an hour or two. They were not so much a nuisance as an expense,
for custom requires that each be paid twenty cents (Mexican) a
day both going and returning. They are of some use in lending
an official aspect to an expedition and in
requisitioning anything which may be needed; also they act as
an insurance policy, for if a caravan is robbed a claim can be
entered against the government, whereas if the escort is refused
the traveler has no redress.
It is amusing and
often irritating to see the cavalier way in which these men treat
other caravans or the peasants along the road. Waving their arms
and shouting oaths they shoo horses, mules or chairs out of the
way regardless of the confusion into which the approaching caravan
may be thrown. They must also be closely watched for they are
none too honest and are prone to rely upon the moral support of
foreigners to take whatever they wish without the formality of
We were especially
careful to respect the property on which we camped and to be just
in all our dealings with the natives, but it was sometimes difficult
to prevent the mafus or soldiers from tearing down fences
for firewood or committing similar depredations. Wherever such
acts were discovered we made suitable payment and punished the
offenders by deducting a part of their wages. Foreigners cannot
respect too carefully the rights of the peasants, for upon their
conduct rests the reception which will be accorded to all others
who follow in their footsteps.
On Friday, September
23, we were at Chou Chou and camped in a picturesque little temple
on the outskirts of the town. As the last stage was only six hours
we spent half the morning in taking moving pictures of the caravan
and left for Ta-li at eleven-thirty after an early tiffin.
About two o'clock
in the afternoon we reached Hsia-kuan, a large commercial town
at the lower end of the lake. Its population largely consists
of merchants and it is by all means the most important business
place of interior Yün-nan; Ta-li, eight miles away, is the residence
and official city.
At Hsia-kuan we called
upon the salt commissioner, Mr. Lui, to whom Mr. Bode, the salt
inspector at Yün-nan Fu, had very kindly telegraphed money for
my account, and after the usual tea and cigarettes we went on
to Ta-li Fu over a perfectly level paved road, which was so slippery
that it was well-nigh impossible for either horse or man to move
over it faster than a walk.
This was the hottest
day of our experience in Northern Yün-nan, the thermometer registering
85°+ in the shade, which is the usual midsummer temperature, but
the moment the sun dropped behind the mountains it was cool enough
for one to enjoy a fire. Even in the winter it is never very cold
and its delightful summer should make Northern Yün-nan a wonderful
health resort for the residents of fever-stricken
Burma and Tonking.
We rode toward Ta-li
with the beautiful lake on our right hand and on the other the
Ts'ang Shan mountains which rise to a height of fourteen thousand
feet. As we approached the city we could see dimly outlined against
the foothills the slender shafts of three ancient pagodas. They
were erected to the feng-shui, the spirits of the "earth,
wind, and water," and for fifteen hundred years have stood guard
over the stone graves which, in countless thousands, are spread
along the foot of the mountains like a vast gray blanket. In the
late afternoon sunlight the walls of the city seemed to recede
before us and the picturesque gate loomed shadowy and unreal even
when we passed through its gloomy arch and clattered up the stone-paved
We soon discovered
the residence of Mr. H. G. Evans, agent of the British American
Tobacco Company, to whose care our first caravan had been consigned,
and he very hospitably invited us to remain with him while we
were in Ta-li Fu. This was only the beginning of Mr. Evans' assistance
to the Expedition, for he acted as its banker throughout our stay
in Yün-nan, cashing checks and transferring money for us whenever
we needed funds.
The British American
Tobacco Company and the Standard Oil Company of New York are veritable
"oases in the desert" for travelers because their agencies are
found in the most out-of-the-way spots in Asia and their employees
are always ready to extend the cordial hospitality of the East
to wandering foreigners.
Besides Mr. Evans
the white residents of Ta-li Fu include the Reverend William J.
Hanna, his wife and two other ladies, all
of the China Inland Mission. Mr. Hanna is doing a really splendid
work, especially along educational and medical lines. He has built
a beautiful little chapel, a large school, and a dispensary in
connection with his house, where he and his wife are occupied
every morning treating the minor ills of the natives, Christian
and heathen alike.
Ta-li Fu was the scene
of tremendous slaughter at the time of the Mohammedan war, when
the Chinese captured the city through the treachery of its commander
and turned the streets to rivers of blood. The Mohammedans were
almost exterminated, and the ruined stone walls testify to the
completeness of the Chinese devastation.
The mandarin at Ta-li
Fu was good-natured but dissipated and corrupt. He called upon
us the evening of our arrival and almost immediately asked if
we had any shotgun cartridges. He remarked that he had a gun but
no shells, and as we did not offer to give him any he continued
to hint broadly at every opportunity.
The mandarins of lower
rank often buy their posts and depend upon what they can make
in "squeeze" from the natives of their district for reimbursement
and a profit on their investment. In almost every case which is
brought to them for adjustment the decision is withheld until
the magistrate has learned which of the parties is prepared to
offer the highest price for a settlement in his favor. The Chinese
peasant, accepting this as the established custom, pays the bribe
without a murmur if it is not too exorbitant and, in fact, would
be exceedingly surprised if "justice" were dispensed in any other
My personal relations
with the various mandarins whom I was constantly
required to visit officially were always of the pleasantest and
I was treated with great courtesy. It was apparent wherever we
were in China that there was a total lack of anti-foreign feeling
in both the peasant and official classes and except for the brigands,
who are beyond the law, undoubtedly white men can travel in perfect
safety anywhere in the republic. Before my first official visit
Wu gave me a lesson in etiquette. The Chinese are exceedingly
punctilious and it is necessary to conform to their standards
of politeness for they do not realize, or accept in excuse, the
fact that Western customs differ from their own.
At the end of the
reception room in every yamen is a raised platform on which
the visitor sits at the left hand of the mandarin; it would
be exceedingly rude for a magistrate to seat the caller on his
right hand. Tea is always served immediately but is not supposed
to be tasted until the official does so himself; the cup must
then be lifted to the lips with both hands. Usually when the magistrate
sips his tea it is a sign that the interview is ended. When leaving,
the mandarin follows his visitor to the doorway of the outer court,
while the latter continually bows and protests asking him not
to come so far.
Ta-li Fu and Hsia-kuan
are important fur markets and we spent some time investigating
the shops. One important find was the panda (Aelurus fulgens).
The panda is an aberrant member of the raccoon family but looks
rather like a fox; in fact the Chinese call it the "fire fox"
because of its beautiful, red fur. Pandas were supposed to be
exceedingly rare and we could hardly believe
it possible when we saw dozens of coats made from their skins
hanging in the fur shops.
Skins of the huge
red-brown flying squirrel, Petaruista yunnanensis, were
also used for clothing and the abundance of this animal was almost
as great a surprise as the finding of the pandas. This is often
true in the case of supposedly rare species. A few specimens may
be obtained from the extreme limits of its range, or from a locality
where it really is rare, and for years it may be almost unique
in museum collections but eventually the proper locality may be
visited and the animals found to be abundant.
We saw several skins
of the beautiful cat (Felis temmicki) which, with the snow
leopard (Felis uncia), it was said came from Tibet. Civets,
bears, foxes, and small cats were being used extensively for furs
and pangolins could be purchased in the medicine shops. The scales
of the pangolin are considered to be of great value in the treatment
of certain diseases and the skins are usually sold by the pound
as are the horns of deer, wapiti, gorals, and serows.
Almost all of the
fossil animals which have been obtained in China by foreigners
have been purchased in apothecary shops. If a Chinaman discovers
a fossil bed he guards it zealously for it represents an actual
gold mine to him. The bones are ground into a fine powder, mixed
with an acid, and a phosphate obtained which in reality has a
certain value as a tonic. When a considerable amount of faith
and Chinese superstition is added its efficacy assumes double
Every year a few tiger
skins find their way to Hsia-kuan from the southern part of the
province along the Tonking border, but the good ones are quickly
sold at prices varying from twenty-five
to fifty dollars (Mexican). Ten dollars is the usual price for
Marco Polo visited
Ta-li Fu in the thirteenth century and, among other things, he
speaks of the fine horses from this part of the province. We were
surprised to find that the animals are considerably larger and
more heavily built than those of Yün-nan Fu and appear to be better
in every way. A good riding horse can be purchased for seventy-five
dollars (Mexican) but mules are worth about one hundred and fifty
dollars because they are considered better pack animals.
On the advice of men
who had traveled much in the interior of Yün-nan we hired our
caravan and riding animals instead of buying them outright, and
subsequent experience showed the wisdom of this course. Saddle
ponies, which are used only for short trips about the city, cannot
endure continual traveling over the execrable roads of the interior
where often it is impossible to feed them properly. If an entire
caravan were purchased the leader of the expedition would have
unceasing trouble with the mafus to insure even ordinary
care of the animals, an opportunity would be given for endless
"squeeze" in the purchase of food, and there are other reasons
too numerous to mention why in this province the plan is impracticable.
However, the caravan
ponies do try one's patience to the limit. They are trained only
to follow a leader, and if one happens to be behind another horse
it is well-nigh impossible to persuade it to pass. Beat or kick
the beast as one will, it only backs up or crowds closely to the
horse in front. On the first day out Heller, who was on a particularly
bad animal, when trying to pass one of us began to cavort about
like a circus rider, prancing from side
to side and backward but never going forward. We shouted that
we would wait for him to go on but he replied helplessly, "I can't,
this horse isn't under my management," and we found very soon
that our animals were not under our management either!
In a town near Ta-li
Fu we were in front of the caravan with Wu and Heller: Wu stopped
to buy a basket of mushrooms but his horse refused to move ahead.
Beat as he would, the animal only backed in a circle, ours followed,
and in a few moments we were packed together so tightly that it
was impossible even to dismount. There we sat, helpless, to the
huge delight of the villagers until rescued by a mafu.
As soon as he led Wu's horse forward the others proceeded as quietly
We paid forty cents
(Mexican) a day for each animal while traveling, and fifteen or
twenty cents when in camp, but the rate varies somewhat in different
parts of the province, and in the west and south, along the Burma
border fifty cents is the usual price. When a caravan is engaged
the necessary mafus are included and they buy food for
themselves and beans and hay for the animals.
Ever since leaving
Yün-nan Fu the cook we engaged at Paik-hoi had been a source of
combined irritation and amusement. He was a lanky, effeminate
gentleman who never before had ridden a horse, and who was physically
and mentally unable to adapt himself to camp life. After five
months in the field he appeared to be as helpless when the caravan
camped for the night as when we first started, and he would stand
vacantly staring until someone directed him what to do. But he
was a good cook, when he wished to exert himself, and had the
great asset of knowing a considerable amount
of English. While we were in Ta-li Fu Mr. Evans overheard him
relating his experiences on the road to several of the other servants.
"Of course," said the cook, "it is a fine way to see the country,
but the riding! My goodness, that's awful! After the third day
I didn't know whether to go on or turn backI was so sore
I couldn't sit down even on a chair to say nothing of a horse!"
He had evidently fully
made up his mind not to "see the country" that way for the day
after we left Ta-li Fu en route to the Tibetan frontier
he became violently ill. Although we could find nothing the matter
with him he made such a good case for himself that we believed
he really was quite sick and treated him accordingly. The following
morning, however, he sullenly refused to proceed, and we realized
that his illness was of the mind rather than the body. As he had
accepted two months' salary in advance and had already sent it
to his wife in Paik-hoi, we were in a position to use a certain
amount of forceful persuasion which entirely accomplished its
object and illness did not trouble him thereafter.
The loss of a cook
is a serious matter to a large expedition. Good meals and varied
food must be provided if the personnel is to work at its highest
efficiency and cooking requires a vast amount of thought and time.
In Yün-nan natives who can cook foreign food are by no means easy
to find and when our Paik-hoi gentleman finally left us upon our
return to Ta-li Fu we were fortunate in obtaining an exceedingly
competent man to take his place through the good offices of Mr.
LI-CHIANG AND "THE
TEMPLE OF THE FLOWERS"
We left a part of
our outfit with Mr. Evans at Ta-li Fu and with a new caravan of
twenty-five animals traveled northward for six days to Li-chiang
Fu. By taking a small road we hoped to find good collecting in
the pine forests three days from Ta-li, but instead there was
a total absence of animal life. The woods were beautiful, park-like
stretches which in a country like California would be full of
game, but here were silent and deserted. During the fourth and
fifth days we were still in the forests, but on the sixth we crossed
a pass 10,000 feet high and descended abruptly into a long marshy
plain where at the far end were the gray outlines of Li-chiang
dimly visible against the mountains.
Wu and I galloped
ahead to find a temple for our camp, leaving Heller and my wife
to follow. A few pages from her journal tell of their entry into
We rode along a
winding stone causeway and halted on the outskirts of the town
to wait until the caravan arrived. Neither Roy nor Wu was in
sight but we expected that the mafus would ask where
they had gone and follow, for of course we could not speak a
word of the language. Already there was quite a sensation as
we came down the street, for our sudden appearance seemed to
have stupefied the people with amazement. One old lady looked
at me with an indescribable expression and
uttered what sounded exactly like a long-drawn "Mon Dieu" of
I tried smiling
at them but they appeared too astonished to appreciate our friendliness
and in return merely stared with open mouths and eyes. We halted
and immediately the street was blocked by crowds of men, women,
and children who poured out of the houses, shops, and cross-streets
to gaze in rapt attention. When the caravan arrived we moved
on again expecting that the mafus had learned where Roy
had gone, but they seemed to be wandering aimlessly through
the narrow winding streets. Even though we did not find a camping
place we afforded the natives intense delight.
I felt as though
I were the chief actor in a circus parade at home, but the most
remarkable attraction there could not have equaled our unparalleled
success in Li-chiang. On the second excursion through the town
we passed down a cross-street, and suddenly from a courtyard
at the right we heard feminine voices speaking English.
"It's a girl. No,
it's a boy. No, no, can't you see her hair, it's a girl!" Just
then we caught sight of three ladies, unmistakably foreigners
although dressed in Chinese costume. They were Mrs. A. Kok,
wife of the resident Pentecostal Missionary, and two assistants,
who rushed into the street as soon as they had determined my
sex and literally "fell upon my neck." They had not seen a white
woman since their arrival there four years ago and it seemed
to them that I had suddenly dropped from the sky.
While we were talking
Wu appeared to guide us to the camp. They had chosen a beautiful
temple with a flower-filled courtyard on the summit of a hill
overlooking the city. It was wonderfully clean and when our
beds, tables, and chairs were spread on the broad stone porch
it seemed like a real home.
The next days were
busy ones for us all, Roy and Heller setting traps, and I working
at my photography. We let it be known that we would pay well
for specimens, and there was an almost
uninterrupted procession of men and boys carrying long sticks,
on which were strung frogs, rats, toads, and snakes. They would
simply beam with triumph and enthusiasm. Our fame spread and
more came, bringing the most ridiculous tame thingspigeons,
maltese cats, dogs, white rabbits, caged birds, and I even believe
we might have purchased a girl baby or two, for mothers stood
about with little brown kiddies on their backs as though they
really would like to offer them to us but hardly dared.
The temple priest
was a good looking, smooth-faced chap, and hidden under his
coat he brought dozens of skins. I believe that his religious
vows did not allow him to handle animalsopenlyand
so he would beckon Roy into the darkness of the temple with
a most mysterious air, and would extract all sorts of things
from his sleeves just like a sleight-of-hand performer. He was
a rich man when we left!
The people are mostly
tribesmenMosos, Lolos, Tibetans, and many others. The
girls wear their hair "bobbed off" in front and with a long
plait in back. They wash their hair onceon their wedding
dayand then it is wrapped up in turbans for the rest of
their lives. The Tibetan women dress their hair in dozens of
tiny braids, but I don't believe there is any authority that
they ever wash it, or themselves either.
Li-chiang was our
first collecting camp and we never had a better one. On the morning
after our arrival Heller found mammals in half his traps, and
in the afternoon we each put out a line of forty traps which brought
us fifty mammals of eleven species. This was a wonderful relief
after the many days of travel through country devoid of animal
Our traps contained
shrews of two species, meadow voles, Asiatic white-footed mice,
spiny mice, rats, squirrels, and tree shrews. The small mammals
were exceedingly abundant and easy to catch, but after the first
day we began to have difficulty with the
natives who stole our traps. We usually marked them with a bit
of cotton, and the boys would follow an entire line down a hedge,
taking every one. Sometimes they even brought specimens to us
for sale which we knew had been caught in our stolen traps!
The traps were set
under logs and stumps and in the grass where we found the "runways"
or paths which mice, rats and voles often make. These animals
begin to move about just after dark, and we usually would inspect
our traps with a lantern about nine o'clock in the evening. This
not only gave the trap a double chance to be filled but we also
secured perfect specimens, for such species as mice and shrews
are cannibalistic, and almost every night, if the specimens were
not taken out early in the evening, several would be partly eaten.
Small mammals are
often of much greater interest and importance scientifically than
large ones, for, especially among the Insectivores, there are
many primitive forms which are apparently of ancestral stock and
throw light on the evolutionary history of other living groups.
Li-chiang is a fur
market of considerable importance for the Tibetans bring down
vast quantities of skins for sale and trade. Lambs, goats, foxes,
cats, civets, pandas, and flying squirrels hang in the shops and
there are dozens of fur dressers who do really excellent tanning.
This city is a most
interesting place especially on market day, for its inhabitants
represent many different tribes with but comparatively few Chinese.
By far the greatest percentage of natives are the Mosos who are
semi-Tibetan in their life and customs. They were originally an
independent race who ruled a considerable part
of northern Yün-nan, and Li-chiang was their ancient capital.
To the effeminate and "highly civilized" Chinese they are "barbarians,"
but we found them to be simple, honest and wholly delightful people.
Many of those whom we met later had never seen a white woman,
and yet their inherent decency was in the greatest contrast to
that of the Chinese who consider themselves so immeasurably their
The Mosos have large
herds of sheep and cattle, and this is the one place in the Orient
except in large cities along the coast, where we could obtain
fresh milk and butter. As with the Tibetans, buttered tea and
tsamba (parched oatmeal) are the great essentials, but
they also grow quantities of delicious vegetables and fruit. Buttered
tea is prepared by churning fresh butter into hot tea until the
two have become well mixed. It is then thickened with finely ground
tsamba until a ball is formed which is eaten with the fingers.
The combination is distinctly good when the ingredients are fresh,
but if the butter happens to be rancid the less said of it the
The natives of this
region are largely agriculturists and raise great quantities of
squash, turnips, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, onions, corn, peas,
beans, oranges, pears, persimmons and nuts. While traveling we
filled our saddle pockets with pears and English walnuts or chestnuts
and could replenish our stock at almost any village along the
Everything was absurdly
cheap. Eggs were usually about eight cents (Mexican) a dozen,
and we could always purchase a chicken for an empty tin can, or
two for a bottle. In fact, the latter was the greatest desideratum
and when offers of money failed to induce
a native to pose for the camera a bottle nearly always would decide
matters in our favor.
In Li-chiang we learned
that there was good shooting only twelve miles north of the city
on the Snow Mountain range, the highest peak of which rises 18,000
feet above the sea. We left a part of our outfit at Mr. Kok's
house and engaged a caravan of seventeen mules to take us to the
hunting grounds. Mr. Kok assisted us in numberless ways while
we were in the vicinity of Li-chiang and in other parts of the
country. He took charge of all our mail, sending it to us by runners,
loaned us money when it was difficult to get cash from Ta-li Fu
and helped us to engage servants and caravans.
It had rained almost
continually for five days and a dense gray curtain of fog hung
far down in the valley, but on the morning of October 11 we awoke
to find ourselves in another world. We were in a vast amphitheater
of encircling mountains, white almost to their bases, rising ridge
on ridge, like the foamy billows of a mighty ocean. At the north,
silhouetted against the vivid blue of a cloudless sky, towered
the great Snow Mountain, its jagged peaks crowned with gold where
the morning sun had kissed their summits. We rode toward it across
a level rock-strewn plain and watched the fleecy clouds form,
and float upward to weave in and out or lose themselves in the
vast snow craters beside the glacier. It was an inspiration, that
beautiful mountain, lying so white and still in its cradle of
dark green trees. Each hour it seemed more wonderful, more dominating
in its grandeur, and we were glad to be of the chosen few to look
upon its sacred beauty.
In the early afternoon
we camped in a tiny temple which nestled into a grove of spruce
trees on the outskirts of a straggling
village. To the north the Snow Mountain rose almost above us,
and on the east and south a grassy rock-strewn plain rolled away
in gentle undulations to a range of hills which jutted into the
valley like a great recumbent dragon.
A short time after
our camp was established we had a visit from an Austrian botanist,
Baron Haendel-Mazzetti, who had been in the village for two weeks.
He had come to Yün-nan for the Vienna Museum before the war, expecting
to remain a year, but already had been there three. Surrounded
as he was by Tibet, Burma, and Tonking, his only possible exit
was by way of the four-month overland journey to Shanghai. He
had little money and for two years had been living on Chinese
food. He dined with us in the evening, and his enjoyment of our
coffee, bread, kippered herring, and other canned goods was almost
A week after our arrival
Baron Haendel-Mazzetti left for Yün-nan Fu and eventually reached
Shanghai which, however, became a closed port to him upon China's
entry into the European war. It is to be hoped that his collections,
which must be of great scientific value and importance, have arrived
at a place of safety long ere this book issues from the press.